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Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. (On signing law for inclusion of the words 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance, 14 Jun 54)
I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.
Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
I have one yardstick by which I test every major problem-and that yardstick is Is it good for America
Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.
Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and co-operation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.
Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
I have found out in later years that we were very poor, but the glory of America is that we didn't know it then.
I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.
I could have spoken from Rhode Island where I have been staying ... But I felt that, in speaking from the house of Lincoln, of Jackson, and of Wilson, my words would better convey both the sadness I feel in the action I was compelled today to make and the firmness with which I intend to pursue this course until the orders of the federal court at Little Rock can be executed without unlawful interference. (On sending troops to enforce integration in Little Rock AR High School)
A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.
As it is an ancient truth that freedom cannot be legislated into existence, so it is no less obvious that freedom cannot be censored into existence.
Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book...
From behind the Iron Curtain, there are signs that tyranny is in trouble and reminders that its structure is as brittle as its surface is hard.
Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.
I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens.
I feel like the fellow in jail who is watching his scaffold being built. (On construction of reviewing stands for inauguration of his successor John F Kennedy)
I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.
I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.
Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can complel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Some years ago I became president of Columbia University and learned within 24 hours to be ready to speak at the drop of a hat, and I learned something more, the trustees were expected to be ready to speak at the passing of the hat.
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.
There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.
Unless each day can be looked back upon by an individual as one in which he has had some fun, some joy, some real satisfaction, that day is a loss.
We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective.
What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.
When I was a small boy growing up in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing and as we sat there in the warmth of a summer afternoon on a riverbank we talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I told him that I wanted to be a real major-league baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish.
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