Our nation has been led by many great men for more than two centuries. During that time, a lot of momentous events have occurred — some good, and some tragic — and our Presidents have always been there to speak to the nation. From inspiring change and motivating troops during wartime to helping the nation heal after a tragedy, some great speeches have come from the men leading the country.
Looking back on those events, one must also remember what was said at the time — for history’s sake, for remembrance, for context, and for inspiration that lives on in so many immortal words to this day. So many of the great speeches that impacted the nation and the world at the time are just as stirring and powerful today as they were when they were first spoken.
Collected below are 10 great quotes by great men who were at one time the President of the United States of America.
10. Woodrow Wilson
“It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts — for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.” — speaking to Congress in 1917 on going to war.
9. Franklin D. Roosevelt
“This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.” — from his first Inaugural Address to the nation.