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35+ Best Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes on Politics, Life, Happiness, and More

Former American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was born on January 30th, 1882, in Hyde Park, New York. From a young age, he proved to be very bright, moving from graduating Groton Preparatory School to receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University to finally studying law at Columbia University where he passed the bar examination in 1907. Moving forward from years of rigorous schoolwork, he briefly worked for a prestigious law firm in NYC before entering his lifelong career in politics. In 1910 he was elected to the NY State Senate as a Democrat, then moving on to become the Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1913-1920.

Alongside his bustling work life, he began a loving marriage in 1905 with his distant cousin Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. Together they had 6 children, 5 of which made it past infancy: Anna, James, Elliott, Franklin Jr., and John. Sadly, during the summer of 1921, he contracted Poliomyelitis, causing him to forever lose control of his legs despite valiant efforts to fight it. He used his setback as an inspiration to create a foundation in Georgia that aided other polio victims. He later inspired and directed the March of Dimes program which eventually funded a successful vaccine for the disease.

His career continued to brim with new opportunities, leading him to become the governor of New York in 1928 and become the 32nd President of the United States in 1932. During his inauguration, many hard times fell upon America with the economic crisis of the Great Depression and the spark of World War II. Roosevelt is known for his New Deal legislation push during this time and for being the one to initiate the creation of the United Nations through his proposition of a “grand alliance” against the Axis powers. He took great measures to provide aid to the countries suffering from the destruction of the Nazi regime by urging a repeal of the Neutrality Act. When the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor took place, Roosevelt’s speech, “The Day of Infamy“, shook the nation for he was eloquent when he gave a speech and inspiring.

The stress of the war against Nazi Germany and the recession in America took a great toll on the health of President Roosevelt. He grew to have intense heart problems that eventually led to his stroke in 1945 that killed him during the start of his 4th presidential term. He goes down in American history for being the only president to ever serve more than two terms and his impact on America is still widely spoken of. Read the article below to find FDR quotes on politics, life, happiness, and more.

FDR Quotes
FDR Presidential Library & Museum

FDR Quotes on Politics, Life, Happiness, and More

“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 these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.”

“If we can boondoggle ourselves out of this depression, that word is going to be enshrined in the hearts of the American people for years to come.”

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations, much is given. Of other generations, much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”

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

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

“Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept, there can be no end save victory.”

“War is a contagion.”

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”

“More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars – yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.”

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

“Don’t put anybody in and don’t help anybody that is working for Huey Long or his crowd: that is a hundred percent.”

“In our personal ambitions, we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.”

“Those newspapers of the nation which most loudly cried dictatorship against me would have been the first to justify the beginnings of dictatorship by somebody else.”

“The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”

“Art is not a treasure in the past or an importation from another land, but part of the present life of all living and creating peoples.”

“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

“Freedom of speech is of no use to a man who has nothing to say and freedom of worship is of no use to a man who has lost his God.”

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

“No group and no government can properly prescribe precisely what should constitute the body of knowledge with which true education is concerned.”

“The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.”

“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 the government.”

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

“I am a Christian and a Democrat, that’s all.”

“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.”

“I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making.”

“Remember you are just an extra in everyone else’s play.”

“Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.”

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.”

“Our national determination to keep free of foreign wars and foreign entanglements cannot prevent us from feeling deep concern when ideals and principles that we have cherished are challenged.”

“No country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order.”

“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”

“Labor Day symbolizes our determination to achieve economic freedom for the average man which will give his political freedom reality.”

“There are as many opinions as there are experts.”

“The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.”

“When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.”

“Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something.”

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Katee is a lover of language and is in awe of the power it holds. Read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

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