Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes

There is nothing I love as much as a good fight.

22nd January, 1911. Interview in the New York Times.

These unhappy times call for the building of plans. … that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

7th April, 1932. Radio adddress.

 The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent, experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

22nd May, 1932. Speech in Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia.

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.

2nd July, 1932. Democratic presidential candidate nomination acceptance speech, Chicago.

There is no indispensable man.

3rd November, 1932. Campaign speech, New York City.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

4th March, 1933. First Inaugural Address.

In the field of world policy I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor.

4th March, 1933. First Inaugural Address.

If I were asked to state the great objective which Church and State are both demanding for the sake of every man and woman and child in this country, I would say that the great objective is “a more abundant life.”

6th December, 1933. Address to the Federal Council of Churches of Christ.

We are moving forward to greater freedom, to greater security for the average man than he has ever known before in the history of America.

30th September, 1934. Fireside Chat.

Out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. … The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody’s business.

27th June, 1936. Speech accepting nomination.

This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.

27th June, 1936. Speech accepting nomination.

 I have seen war … I hate war.

14th August, 1936. Address at Chautauqua, New York.

I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.

October 31st, 1936. Speech at Madison Square Garden

I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

20th January, 1937. Second Inaugural Address.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

20th January, 1937. Second Inaugural Address.

The epidemic of world lawlessness is spreading. When an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread, the community approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to protect the health of the community against the spread of the disease.

5th October, 1937. Speech in Chicago.

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over its government.

14th April, 1938. Fireside Chat.

A program whose basic thesis is not that the system of free private enterprise for profit has failed in this generation, but that it has not yet been tried.

29th April, 1938. Message on Concentration fo Economic Power.

The Soviet Union, as everybody who has the courage to face the fact knows, is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world.

10th February, 1940. Speech to the American Youth Congress.

On this tenth day of June 1940 the hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor.

10th June, 1940. Speech at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.

30th October, 1940. Campaign speech in Boston.

We have the men – the skill – the wealth – and above all the will… We must be the great arsenal of democracy.

29th December, 1940. Fireside Chat.

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way – everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want … everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear … anywhere in the world.

6th January, 1941. Message to Congress.

We, too, born to freedom, and believing in freedom, are willing to fight to maintain freedom. We, and all others who believe as deepy as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.

19th June, 1941. Speech on receiving the Doctor of Civil Law degree from Oxford University.

First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other.
Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wished of the peoples concerned.

Atlantic Charter, drawn up on U.S.S. Augusta in Argentina Harbor, Newfoundland. Issued August 14th 1941. Along with Winston Churchill.

Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.

Atlantic Charter, drawn up on U.S.S. Augusta in Argentina Harbor, Newfoundland. Issued August 14th 1941. Along with Winston Churchill.

Eight, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential.

Atlantic Charter, drawn up on U.S.S. Augusta in Argentina Harbor, Newfoundland. Issued August 14th 1941. Along with Winston Churchill.

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

8th December, 1941. Message to Congress.

Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory. … In this war, we know, books are weapons.

23rd April, 1942. Message to American Booksellers.

It is not a tax bill but a tax relief bill providing relief not for the needy by the greedy.

22nd February, 1944. Tax bill veto message.

I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog.

23rd September, 1944. Speech at Teamsters’ Dinner, Washington D.C.

All of our people all over the country – except the pure-blooded Indians – are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, including even those who came over here on the Mayflower.

4th November, 1944. Campaign speech in Boston.

The American people are quite competent to judge a political party that works both sides of a street.

4th November, 1944. Campaign speech in Boston.

We have learned that we cannot live here alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations, far way. We have learned that we must live as men, and not as ostriches, nor as dogs in the manger. We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community.

20th January, 1945. Fourth Inaugural Address.

The work, my friend, is peace. More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.

13th April, 1945.

It is fun to be in the same decade with you.

Cable to Winston Churchill replying to a 60th Birthday congratulation message.