FAMOUS FIRST WORDS
Excerpts from presidential inaugural addresses
NOW the trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, `rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation' - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.Skip to next paragraph
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- John F. Kennedy, 1961
THERE is no good reason why we should fear the future, but there is every reason why we should face it seriously, neither hiding from ourselves the gravity of the problems before us nor fearing to approach these problems with the unbending, unflinching purpose to solve them aright.
- Theodore Roosevelt, 1905
THIS peace we seek cannot be born of fear alone: it must be rooted in the lives of nations. There must be justice, sensed and shared by all peoples, for without justice the world can know only a tense and unstable truce. There must be law, steadily invoked and respected by all nations, for without law the world promises only such meager justice as the pity of the strong upon the weak.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957
WITH malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
- Abraham Lincoln, 1865
SLOWLY but surely we are weaving a world fabric of international security and growing prosperity. We are aided by all who wish to live in freedom from fear - even by those who live today in fear under their own governments. We are aided by all who want relief from the lies of propaganda - who desire truth and sincerity. We are aided by all who desire self-government and a voice in deciding their own affairs. We are aided by all who long for economic security - for the security and abundance that men in fre e societies enjoy. ... Our allies are the millions who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
- Harry S. Truman, 1949
IF there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
- Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933
EMPLOYED in the service of my country abroad during the whole course of these transactions, I first saw the Constitution of the United States in a foreign country. Irritated by no literary altercation, animated by no public debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great satisfaction, as the result of good heads prompted by good hearts, as an experiment better adapted to the genius, character, situation, and relations of this nation and country than any which had ever been proposed or suggested.
- John Adams, 1797