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Presidents’ Day: 44 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes

17/02/2014

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Abraham Lincoln

Presidents' Day: Seal Of the President

Presidents’ Day: Seal Of the President

Inspirational

Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light. George Washington
Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. John Adams
The world is not looking for servants, there are plenty of these, but for masters, men who form their purposes and then carry them out, let the consequences be what they may. Woodrow Wilson
The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. James Buchanan
I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men… in receiving from the people the sacred trust confided to my illustrious predecessor. Martin Van Buren
We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams. Jimmy Carter
I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid. Grover Cleveland

 Happy Presidents’ Day 2014!   For this special day, I curated 44 quotes to represent our 44 Presidents to date. I’ve tried to include at least one from each; either in block quotes or as a quote above the photos. If anyone is  wondering about the origins  of this special federal holiday and why it is called Presidents Day, the answer is slightly complicated. First of all, originally, it was a special day to honor the birthday of our first president –  George Washington

Over time, it evolved to become a celebration in honor of  two of America’s greatest Presidents; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  In 1968,  the 90th Congress voted to shift three federal holidays, including George Washington’s Birthday to the 3rd Monday of February. This move led to the creation of  a new holiday – Presidents’ Day.  There was resistance and many objections were raised but eventually it became law in 1971.

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy

Poster announcing Washington's Birthday

Presidents Day was one only celebrated as Washington’s Birthday

Work is about more than making a living, as vital as that is. It’s fundamental to human dignity, to our sense of self-worth as useful, independent, free people. William J. Clinton
Nations, like individuals in a state of nature, are equal and independent, possessing certain rights and owing certain duties to each other. Millard Fillmore
The chief duty of government is to keep the peace and stand out of the sunshine of the people.
James A. Garfield
America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration. Warren G. Harding
The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. Ulysses S. Grant

As I put together material for this post, I was reminded again how  each president contributed his part to sustain this democratic nation. Whether we choose to celebrate it or not, we can learn something from the wisdom shared in the quotes.  What is the correct form when we write it? Some people refer to it as President’s Day though the more appropriate punctuation is Presidents’ Day in honor of two not one President with a February birthday.

There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power. William Henry Harrison
Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity. Herbert Hoover
You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. Andrew Jackson

By default, presidents day has become a  celebration of all the presidents.  Another outcome of this holiday is that it has become a huge commercialized holiday. The endless ads, some with Lincoln look alikes,  invite us to shop, spend and shop again for bargains. I’m sure you have a few favorite quotes from some of our Presidents. Do share one of your favorites below.
The rest are below… and come back for more !

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” Gerald R. Ford

First US President George Washington

First US President George Washington ,

Motivational

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected. George Washington
Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. John Adams
Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. John Quincy Adams
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. Woodrow Wilson
You cannot be President of the United States if you don’t have faith. Remember Lincoln, going to his knees in times of trial in the Civil War and all that stuff. George H. W. Bush
Great lives never go out; they go on. Benjamin Harrison
The bold enterprises are the successful ones. Take counsel of hopes rather than of fears to win in this business. Rutherford B. Hayes
My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Thomas Jefferson
Who, then, will govern? The answer must be, Man – for we have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are willing to take charge of our political affairs. Andrew JohnsonWe will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and Freedom will prevail. George W. Bush
Let us all take more responsibility, not only for ourselves and our families but for our communities and our country. William J. Clinton
All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. Calvin Coolidge
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Dwight D. Eisenhower
History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion. Gerald R. Ford

Another important aspect of this Federal holiday is the fact that some states choose to celebrate it as George Washington’s birthday and, sometimes, include Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. So even though we call it President’s Day the decision to include and celebrate all 44 Presidents varies from state to state. I hope you enjoyed the selection of quotes from our past and present leaders of the highest office in the USA. Now let me ask you a few questions: Who was the oldest President in office? Who was the youngest? Which Presidents served more than one term in office?

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photos Presidential Seal,  George Washington via Wikipedia Quotes via BrainyQuotes,

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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48 Comments leave one →
  1. 17/02/2014 3:01 pm

    This is a great collection of quotes! I especially love the one from Jimmy Carter.

    Like

  2. 17/02/2014 3:42 pm

    Lincoln was one smart cookie. My brother pretends to be an expert just to thwart my friends 🙂

    Like

  3. 17/02/2014 4:41 pm

    Happy President’s Day, Eliz! We don’t get a holiday for this in Australia – but it would be nice if we did 😉

    Like

  4. Savvy Saving Couple (@SavvySavingCoup) permalink
    17/02/2014 4:42 pm

    I love these quotes! They can be totally applied to today’s times and are such motivation for a better life outlook!

    Like

  5. paige permalink
    17/02/2014 5:26 pm

    These are some great quotes! Happy Presidents day!

    Like

  6. 17/02/2014 5:44 pm

    Great quotes by great men! I hope there will be such great leaders in the future also.

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  7. ♡ Jessica ♡ (@ToodiesMomma) permalink
    17/02/2014 6:00 pm

    I think we tend to forget how much of an impact each president had on our country. It is important to look back and appreciate what they have done for us!

    Like

  8. rmanea permalink
    17/02/2014 6:01 pm

    I like the quote from Woodrow Wilson. We are not here to just make a living,we are here to persevere!

    Like

  9. 17/02/2014 6:22 pm

    All of these men were such great leaders and inspirations, I love all of these quotes. Thanks so much for sharing them!

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  10. 17/02/2014 6:23 pm

    Great quotes! I also loved the one from Jimmy Carter. Happy Presidents Day!

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  11. 17/02/2014 6:28 pm

    The quotes are timeless. They apply even to today.

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  12. 17/02/2014 6:41 pm

    Great quotes! Some great wisdom passed down from some good men!

    Like

  13. 17/02/2014 6:50 pm

    wow, I just learned more in your post than most of my hs history classes!

    also weird but true: I had that pic of george Washington in a framed print on my wall. he’s always been my fave president

    Like

  14. 17/02/2014 7:10 pm

    I was a Presidential trivia geek when I was a kid. My kids were very disturbed that they had to go to school today.

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  15. 17/02/2014 7:14 pm

    So I’ve always like that first quote (You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time). I had no idea that Lincoln was the one who said it though!

    Like

  16. 17/02/2014 7:22 pm

    I think you listed all the best quotes but I do have an interesting tid-bit for you. The History Channel did a marathon of Presidential trivia this past Sunday. Apparently JFK paraphrased the quote “ask not…” from the Headmaster of his Alma matter. That man used the line in reference to the school!

    Like

  17. 17/02/2014 7:38 pm

    It’s interesting that each state decides on their own how to celebrate. My last state called it a school holiday. This state doesn’t.

    Like

  18. 17/02/2014 8:15 pm

    This is my fav My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy

    Like

  19. Musings on Motherhood and Mid-Life permalink
    17/02/2014 8:17 pm

    What a great collection of quotes. You have come up with a brilliant and unique way to honor President’s Day.

    Like

  20. 17/02/2014 9:45 pm

    I honestly forgot all about it until my mail didn’t run

    Like

  21. 17/02/2014 10:36 pm

    Of these I like Jimmy Carter’s and Herbert Hoover’s. Thanks my dear, these are great, hope you have a wonderful Presidents Day!

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  22. 18/02/2014 3:37 am

    Remarkable. Kennedy’s is my favourite.

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  23. 18/02/2014 5:30 am

    i used to know a lot more about the presidential history when I was a kid. reading this makes me want to brush up a bit

    Like

  24. 18/02/2014 6:52 am

    I have always loved that quote from Jimmy Carter: We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.

    Like

  25. 18/02/2014 7:51 am

    I bet it was fun doing the research for this post!! Very cool!!

    The President Kennedy quote has to be the most famous one, I would think. These were fun to read.

    Like

  26. 18/02/2014 8:20 am

    These are some epic quotes! The whole article was really entertaining for me since I’m Hungarian but I wanna move to the States sooooo badly! 🙂

    Like

  27. 18/02/2014 8:48 am

    Very interesting! I love doing research about interesting facts!!

    Like

  28. 18/02/2014 8:55 am

    What a lot of inspirational quotes!! Happy presidents day Eliz!

    Like

  29. 18/02/2014 9:06 am

    Many good qoutes. Nice reading:)

    Like

  30. Ashley M permalink
    18/02/2014 9:21 am

    These are some great quotes. Not sure which is my favorite.. perhaps the one by Calvin Coolidge.

    Like

  31. 18/02/2014 9:22 am

    What a great post of quotes! thanks for sharing

    Like

  32. 18/02/2014 9:59 am

    wonderful quotes. When I was little I would study the presidents in encyclopedias! I thought they were so awesome.

    Like

  33. 18/02/2014 10:00 am

    Great collection of quotes! We put up our flag yesterday! Always a fun holiday and time to reflect.

    Like

  34. 18/02/2014 3:20 pm

    I absolutely love motivational and inspirational quotes and you’ve put a great list together! Thanks!

    Like

  35. 18/02/2014 3:50 pm

    Love the collection of quotes and the history of President’s Day. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  36. 18/02/2014 3:50 pm

    I was just telling my daughters about Lincoln today! I love all the quotes!

    Like

  37. 18/02/2014 4:24 pm

    I love quotes in general. And this is a great collection if them!

    Like

  38. 18/02/2014 4:31 pm

    Great quotes. I have been talking to my kids a lot about the past presidents.

    Like

  39. 18/02/2014 4:42 pm

    Our city doesn’t really do anything for Presidents’ Day except let the kids off from school. Luckily, my teen loves history and reads about these great men on his own. He’s going to really enjoy these quotes.

    Like

  40. 18/02/2014 6:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing these! These re some GREAT quotes! Love reading stuff like this.

    Like

  41. Pauline Cabrera (SMM) permalink
    18/02/2014 7:40 pm

    Wow! The United States have many inspirational presidents. This country is blessed to have great leaders. Thanks for compiling and sharing these quotations.:)

    Like

  42. 19/02/2014 12:45 am

    Thanks for the quotes and the history. I really love learning – especially about history. 🙂

    Like

  43. 19/02/2014 12:04 pm

    Such inspiration! You chose great quotes from our great presidents!

    Like

  44. 20/02/2014 9:34 pm

    It was great to see so many inspirational words from the Presidents. I even saw a few old favorites here.

    Like

  45. 21/02/2014 6:32 am

    I love presidential quotes. Thanks for compiling them all.

    Like

  46. 21/02/2014 11:51 am

    Very cool post! Thank you for putting them together. This would be great for a teacher teaching US history.

    Like

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