"The proper role of government, however, is that of partner with the farmer -- never his master. By every possible means we must develop and promote that partnership -- to the end that agriculture may continue to be a sound, enduring foundation for our economy and that farm living may be a profitable and satisfying experience."
Special Message to the Congress on Agriculture, 1/9/56

"You know, farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."
Address at Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, 9/25/56


"I come from the very heart of America."
Guildhall Speech, London, 6/12/45 Audio clip 

"The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene."
Homecoming Speech, Abilene, Kansas, 6/22/45  Audio clip

"Don't defend yourself. Don't explain. Don't worry."
Letter, DDE to Omar Bradley, 10/26/1949 [DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 13]

"Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America."
Inaugural Address, Washington, DC, 1/20/53 Audio clip

"For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."
Inaugural Address, Washington, DC, 1/20/53 Audio clip

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
Inaugural Address, Washington, DC, 1/20/53 Audio clip

"There is -- in world affairs -- a steady course to be followed between an assertion of strength that is truculent and a confession of helplessness that is cowardly."
State of the Union Address, 2/2/53 Audio clip

"Thank goodness, many years ago, I had a preceptor, for whom my admiration has never died, and he had a favorite saying, one that I trust I try to live by. It was: always take your job seriously, never yourself."
Address at the New England "Forward to '54" Dinner, Boston, Massachusetts, 9/21/53

"I was raised in a little town of which most of you have never heard. But in the West it is a famous place. It is called Abilene, Kansas. We had as our marshal for a long time a man named Wild Bill Hickok. If you don't know anything about him, read your Westerns more. Now that town had a code, and I was raised as a boy to prize that code. It was: meet anyone face to face with whom you disagree. You could not sneak up on him from behind, or do any damage to him, without suffering the penalty of an outraged citizenry. If you met him face to face and took the same risks he did, you could get away with almost anything, as long as the bullet was in the front."
Remarks Upon Receiving America's Democratic Legacy Award at a B'nai B'rith Dinner in Honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Anti-Defamation League, 11/23/53 Audio clip

"There is an old saw in the services: that which is not inspected deteriorates."
The President's News Conference of 5/12/54 Audio clip

"Well, it is very important, and the great idea of setting up an organism is so as to defeat the domino result. When, each standing alone, one falls, it has the effect on the next, and finally the whole row is down. You are trying, through a unifying influence, to build that row of dominoes so they can stand the fall of one, if necessary."
The President's News Conference of 5/12/54 Audio clip

"When I was a boy, I was one of six in my family. We had a quarrel daily as to who could go up and do the chore of bringing the groceries down home. They had a practice then, in grocery stores, that I understand growing efficiency has eliminated -- always hoping that the grocer would say you can have one of the dried prunes out of the barrel over there. But better than that was the dill pickle jar that you could dive into, sometimes arm deep almost, and try to get one. I understand that they are not that accommodating anymore; we have got too efficient. When you go around picking things off the shelf, you pay for them. These, you understand, were free. That meant a lot to young boys to whom a nickel looked about as big as a wheel on a farm wagon."
Remarks at the Convention of the National Association of Retail Grocers, 6/16/54 Audio clip

"Now I realize that on any particular decision a very great amount of heat can be generated. But I do say this: life is not made up of just one decision here, or another one there. It is the total of the decisions that you make in your daily lives with respect to politics, to your family, to your environment, to the people about you. Government has to do that same thing. It is only in the mass that finally philosophy really emerges."
Remarks at Luncheon Meeting of the Republican National Committee and the Republican National Finance Committee, 2/17/55

"Today there is a great ideological struggle going on in the world. One side upholds what it calls the materialistic dialectic. Denying the existence of spiritual values, it maintains that man responds only to materialistic influences and consequently he is nothing. He is an educated animal and is useful only as he serves the ambitions -- desires -- of a ruling clique; though they try to make this finer-sounding than that, because they say their dictatorship is that of the proletariat, meaning that they rule in the people's name -- for the people. Now, on our side, we recognize right away that man is not merely an animal, that his life and his ambitions have at the bottom a foundation of spiritual values."
Remarks at 11th Annual Washington Conference of the Advertising Council, 3/22/55 Audio clip

"Some politician some years ago said that bad officials are elected by good voters who do not vote."
Remarks at the Breakfast Meeting of Republican State Chairmen, Denver, Colorado, 9/10/55

"Change based on principle is progress. Constant change without principle becomes chaos."
Address at the Cow Palace on Accepting the Nomination of the Republican National Convention, 8/23/56 Audio clip

"One American put it this way: 'Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith'."
Address at the Cow Palace on Accepting the Nomination of the Republican National Convention, 8/23/56 Audio clip

"The world moves, and ideas that were good once are not always good."
The President's News Conference of 8/31/56 Audio clip

"I believe when you are in any contest you should work like there is always to the very last minute a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything. So I just see no excuse if you believe anything enough for not putting your whole heart into it. It is what I do."
The President's News Conference of 9/27/56 Audio clip

"I belong to a family of boys who were raised in meager circumstances in central Kansas, and every one of us earned our way as we went along, and it never occurred to us that we were poor, but we were."
Television Broadcast: "The People Ask the President," 10/12/56

"The hope of the world is that wisdom can arrest conflict between brothers. I believe that war is the deadly harvest of arrogant and unreasoning minds."
Address, National Education Association, Washington, DC, 4/4/57 Audio clip

"I tell this story to illustrate the truth of the statement I heard long ago in the Army: Plans are worthless, but planning is everything."
Remarks at the National Defense Executive Reserve Conference, 11/14/57 Audio clip

"But these calculations overlook the decisive element: what counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight -- it's the size of the fight in the dog."
Excerpts From Remarks at Republican National Committee Breakfast, 1/31/58

"But finally, there is one other quality I would mention among these that I believe will fit you for difficult and important posts. This is a healthy and lively sense of humor."
Address at U. S. Naval Academy Commencement, 6/4/58

"A famous Frenchman once said, 'War has become far too important to entrust to the generals.' Today, business, I think, should be saying: 'Politics have become far too important to entrust to the politicians'."
Remarks, Business Council, Hot Springs, Virginia, 10/20/62



"Censorship, in my opinion, is a stupid and shallow way of approaching the solution to any problem. Though sometimes necessary, as witness a professional and technical secret that may have a bearing upon the welfare and very safety of this country, we should be very careful in the way we apply it, because in censorship always lurks the very great danger of working to the disadvantage of the American nation."
Associated Press luncheon, New York, New York, 4/24/50

"Don't join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book, as long as that document does not offend our own ideas of decency. That should be the only censorship."
Remarks at the Dartmouth College Commencement Exercises, Hanover, New Hampshire, 6/14/53 [AUDIO]


"Youth -- our greatest resource -- is being seriously neglected in a vital respect. The nation as a whole is not preparing teachers or building schools fast enough to keep up with the increase in our population."
Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, 1/7/54 [AUDIO]

"I say with all the earnestness that I can command, that if American mothers will teach our children that there is no end to the fight for better relationships among the people of the world, we shall have peace."
Address to the National Council of Catholic Women, Boston, Massachusetts, 11/8/54

"In this connection, I should mention our enormous national debt. We must begin to make some payments on it if we are to avoid passing on to our children an impossible burden of debt."
Remarks on the State of the Union Message, Key West, Florida, 1/5/56 [AUDIO]

"Teachers need our active support and encouragement. They are doing one of the most necessary and exacting jobs in the land. They are developing our most precious national resource: our children, our future citizens."
Address at the Centennial Celebration Banquet of the National Education Association, 4/4/57 [AUDIO]

"Now, the education of our children is of national concern, and if they are not educated properly, it is a national calamity."
The President's News Conference of 7/31/57 [AUDIO]

"I am not here, of course, as one pretending to any expertness on questions of youth and children -- except in the sense that, within their own families, all grandfathers are experts on these matters."
Address at the Opening Session of the White House Conference on Children and Youth, College Park, Maryland, 3/27/60 [AUDIO]



"Democracy is essentially a political system that recognizes the equality of humans before the law." - Address to Constituent Assembly, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 8/8/46

"The freedom of the individual and his willingness to follow real leadership are at the core of America's strength." - Address at Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont, 6/9/46

"The proudest human that walks the earth is a free American citizen." - Talk at the Commercial Club of Chicago, 5/21/48

"America is exactly as strong as the initiative, courage, understanding, and loyalty of the individual citizen." - As President of Columbia University, 9/17/1950

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." - Inaugural Address, 1/20/53

"I believe the only way to protect my own rights is to protect the rights of others." - Remarks at the United Negro College Fund luncheon, 5/19/53

"I believe as long as we allow conditions to exist that make for second-class citizens, we are making of ourselves less than first-class citizens." - Remarks at the United Negro College Fund luncheon, 5/1953

"The general limits of your freedom are merely these: that you do not trespass upon the equal rights of others." - Remarks to the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 4/22/54

"The history of free men is never really written by chance--but by choice--their choice." - Address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 10/9/56

"A foundation of our American way of life is our national respect for law." - Address to the American People on the situation in Little Rock, Arkansas, 9/24/57

"Freedom under law is like the air we breathe." - Remarks on the Observance of Law Day, 4/30/58

"It is only as we govern ourselves that we are well-governed." - Remarks on the Observance of Law Day, 4/30/58


Civil Rights

"I propose to use whatever authority exists in the office of the President to end segregation in the District of Columbia, including the Federal Government, and any segregation in the Armed Forces."
Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, 2/2/53 [AUDIO]

"Our civil and social rights form a central part of the heritage we are striving to defend on all fronts and with all our strength. I believe with all my heart that our vigilant guarding of these rights is a sacred obligation binding upon every citizen. To be true to one's own freedom is--in essence--to honor and respect the freedom of all others." - State of the Union Message, 2/2/1953

"We have erased segregation in those areas of national life to which Federal authority clearly extends. So doing in this, my friends, we have neither sought nor claimed partisan credit, and all such actions are nothing more -- nothing less than the rendering of justice. And we have always been aware of this great truth: the final battle against intolerance is to be fought -- not in the chambers of any legislature -- but in the hearts of men."
Address at the Hollywood Bowl, Beverly Hills, California, 10/19/56 [AUDIO]

"It was my hope that this localized situation would be brought under control by city and State authorities. If the use of local police powers had been sufficient, our traditional method of leaving the problems in those hands would have been pursued. But when large gatherings of obstructionists made it impossible for the decrees of the Court to be carried out, both the law and the national interest demanded that the President take action."
Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Situation in Little Rock 9/24/57 [AUDIO]

"I do not believe that all of these problems can be solved just by a new law, or something that someone says, with teeth in it. For example, when we got into the Little Rock thing, it was not my province to talk about segregation or desegregation. I had the job of supporting a federal court that had issued a proper order under the Constitution, and where compliance was prevented by action that was unlawful."
The President's News Conference of 3/26/58

"I believe that the United States as a government, if it is going to be true to its own founding documents, does have the job of working toward that time when there is no discrimination made on such inconsequential reason as race, color, or religion."
The President's News Conference of 5/13/59



"I see no hope for the world except through education." 
Address at dinner honoring President Daniel L. Marsh's 20th Anniversary at Boston University, Boston, Mass., 1/31/46

"The true purpose of education is to prepare young men and women for effective citizenship in a free form of government."
Speech at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Virginia, 5/15/53 [AUDIO]

"Education is really bread and butter citizenship. It is just necessary to the developing of citizens that can perform their duties properly."
Press conference, Washington, DC, 2/9/55

"It is unwise to make education too cheap. If everything is provided freely, there is a tendency to put no value on anything. Education must always have a certain price on it; even as the very process of learning itself must always require individual effort and initiative."
Address, Centennial Celebration Banquet of the National Education Association, Washington, DC, 4/4/57 [AUDIO]


"One of my predecessors is said to have observed that in making his decisions he had to operate like a football quarterback -- he could not very well call the next play until he saw how the last play turned out. Well, that may be a good way to run a football team, but in these days it is no way to run a government."
Address at the Cow Palace on Accepting the Nomination of the Republican National Convention, 8/23/56 [AUDIO]

"A sound nation is built of individuals sound in body and mind and spirit. Government dares not ignore the individual citizen."
Address at a Rally in the Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio, 10/1/56 [AUDIO]

"We cannot safely confine government programs to our own domestic progress and our own military power. We could be the wealthiest and the most mighty nation and still lose the battle of the world if we do not help our world neighbors protect their freedom and advance their social and economic progress. It is not the goal of the American people that the United States should be the richest nation in the graveyard of history."
Special Message to the Congress on the Mutual Security Program, 3/13/59


"But the most interesting -- although horrible -- sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they [there] were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to 'propaganda'."
Letter, DDE to George C. Marshall, 4/15/45 [The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, The War Years IV, doc #2418]

"We continue to uncover German concentration camps for political prisoners in which conditions of indescribable horror prevail. I have visited one of these myself and I assure you that whatever has been printed on them to date has been understatement. If you would see any advantage in asking about a dozen leaders of Congress and a dozen prominent editors to make a short visit to this theater in a couple of C-54's, I will arrange to have them conducted to one of these places where the evidence of bestiality and cruelty is so overpowering as to leave no doubt in their minds about the normal practices of the Germans in these camps."
Cable, DDE to George C. Marshall, 4/19/45 [The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, The War Years IV, doc #2424]

"When I found the first camp like that I think I never was so angry in my life. The bestiality displayed there was not merely piled up bodies of people that had starved to death, but to follow out the road and see where they tried to evacuate them so they could still work, you could see where they sprawled on the road. You could go to their burial pits and see horrors that really I wouldn't even want to begin to describe. I think people ought to know about such things. It explains something of my attitude toward the German war criminal. I believe he must be punished, and I will hold out for that forever."
Press conference, 6/18/45 [DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 156, Press Statements and Releases, 1944-46 (1)]


Korean War

"We have now gained a truce in Korea. We do not greet it with wild rejoicing. We know how dear its cost has been in life and treasure."
Radio Report to the American People on the Achievements of the Administration and the 83d Congress, 8/6/53 [AUDIO]

"Obviously all of us know that the composition that was reached in Korea is not satisfactory to America, but it is far better than to continue the bloody, dreary, sacrifice of lives with no possible strictly military victory in sight."
Address at the Illinois State Fair at Springfield, 8/19/54 [AUDIO]

"And of course, there was the war in Korea, a war around which there had grown up such a political situation that military victory, at least a decisive military victory, was no longer in the cards."
Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Achievements of the 83rd Congress, 8/23/54 [AUDIO]

"In June of last year we negotiated a truce which ended the Korean War, preserved the Republic of Korea's freedom, and frustrated the Communist design for conquest."
Address at the American Legion Convention, 8/30/54 [AUDIO]


I have no use for those — regardless of their political party — who hold some foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when unorganized labor was a huddled, almost helpless mass.
Speech to the American Federation of Labor, New York City, 9/17/52

Today in America unions have a secure place in our industrial life. Only a handful of unreconstructed reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.
Speech to the American Federation of Labor, New York City, 9/17/52

Government can do a great deal to aid the settlement of labor disputes without allowing itself to be employed as an ally of either side. Its proper role in industrial strife is to encourage the process of mediation and conciliation.
State of the Union Message, Washington, DC, 2/2/53 [AUDIO]


"What is Leadership?" by Dwight D. Eisenhower

"You have got to have something in which to believe. You have got to have leaders, organization, friendships, and contacts that help you to believe that, and help you to put out your best."
Remarks to the Leaders of the United Defense Fund, 4/29/54 [AUDIO]

"Now I think, speaking roughly, by leadership we mean the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it, not because your position of power can compel him to do it, or your position of authority. A commander of a regiment is not necessarily a leader. He has all of the appurtenances of power given by a set of Army regulations by which he can compel unified action. He can say to a body such as this, "Rise," and "Sit down." You do it exactly. But that is not leadership."
Remarks at the Annual Conference of the Society for Personnel Administration, 5/12/54 [AUDIO]

"The job of getting people really wanting to do something is the essence of leadership. And one of the things a leader needs occasionally is the inspiration he gets from the people he leads. The old tactical textbooks say that the commander always visits his troops to inspire them to fight. I for one soon discovered that one of the reasons for my visiting the front lines was to get inspiration from the young American soldier. I went back to my job ashamed of my own occasional resentments or discouragements, which I probably -- at least I hope I concealed them."
Remarks at the Breakfast Meeting of Republican State Chairmen, Denver, Colorado, 9/10/55

"As long as I am back in my military life for a second, I should like to observe one thing about leadership that one of the great has said -- Napoleon. He said, the great leader, the genius in leadership, is the man who can do the average thing when everybody else is going crazy."
Address at Meeting Sponsored by the Republican National Committee, 4/17/56

"The essence of leadership is to get others to do something because they think you want it done and because they know it is worth while doing -- that is what we are talking about."
Remarks at the Republican Campaign Picnic at the President's Gettysburg Farm, 9/12/56

"Leadership is a word and a concept that has been more argued than almost any other I know."
The President's News Conference of 11/14/56

"My life has been largely spent in affairs that required organization. But organization itself, necessary as it is, is never sufficient to win a battle."
Remarks to Participants in the Young Republican National Leadership Training School, 1/20/60 [AUDIO]



"Since the advent of nuclear weapons, it seems clear that there is no longer any alternative to peace, if there is to be a happy and well world."
Remarks at the Department of State 1954 Honor Awards Ceremony, 10/19/54 [AUDIO]

"There can be no true disarmament without peace, and there can be no real peace without very material disarmament."
Remarks at the Republican Women's National Conference, 5/10/55 [AUDIO]

"The peace we seek and need means much more than mere absence of war. It means the acceptance of law, and the fostering of justice, in all the world."
Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Developments in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, 10/31/56 [AUDIO]

"In vast stretches of the earth, men awoke today in hunger. They will spend the day in unceasing toil. And as the sun goes down they will still know hunger. They will see suffering in the eyes of their children. Many despair that their labor will ever decently shelter their families or protect them against disease. So long as this is so, peace and freedom will be in danger throughout our world. For wherever free men lose hope of progress, liberty will be weakened and the seeds of conflict will be sown."
Remarks of Welcome to the Delegates to the Tenth Colombo Plan Meeting, Seattle, Washington, 11/10/58 [AUDIO]

"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."
Radio and Television Broadcast With Prime Minister Macmillan in London, 8/31/59

“So -- our readiness to meet and defeat this kind of possible attack is forced upon us, both as a potent preventive of actual war and to insure survival in event of attack. This alertness to danger has to be translated into specific policies and activities in the several parts of the world where our rights -- our way of life -- can be seriously damaged. Work of this kind occupies my days and nights.”
Letter from DDE to Hallock Brown Hoffman, February 7, 1955

“I have said time and again there is no place on this earth to which I would not travel, there is no chore I would not undertake if I had any faintest hope that, by so doing, I would promote the general cause of world peace.”
The President's News Conference, March 23, 1955 [AUDIO]

“As for myself and for the Secretary of State and others involved, including those in the Legislature, we stand ready to do anything, to meet with anyone, anywhere, as long as we may do so in self-respect, demanding the respect due this Nation, and there is any slightest idea or chance of furthering this great cause of peace.”
Remarks at the Republican Women's National Conference, May 10, 1955 [AUDIO]

“For a just and lasting peace, here is my solemn pledge to you: by dedication and patience we will continue, as long as I remain your President, to work for this simple -- this single -- this exclusive goal.”
Address at Byrd Field, Richmond, Virginia, October 29, 1956 [AUDIO]

“The building of such a peace is a bold and solemn purpose. To proclaim it is easy. To serve it will be hard. And to attain it, we must be aware of its full meaning -- and ready to pay its full price.”
Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 1957 [AUDIO]

“For all that we cherish and justly desire -- for ourselves or for our children -- the securing of peace is the first requisite.”
Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Need for Mutual Security in Waging the Peace, May 21, 1957

“Having established as our goals a lasting world peace with justice and the security of freedom on this earth, we must be prepared to make whatever sacrifices are demanded as we pursue this path to its end.”
Remarks at the Fort Pitt Chapter, Association of the United States Army May 31, 1961


"My first day at the President's Desk. Plenty of worries and difficult problems. But such has been my portion for a long time -- the result is that this just seems (today) like a continuation of all I've been doing since July '41 -- even before that!"
Diary entry, 1/21/53 [DDE Diaries: 1935-38, 1942, 1948-53, 1966, 1968, 1969; Box 1; 1953 DDE Desk Diary]

"I would say that the Presidency is probably the most taxing job, as far as tiring of the mind and spirit; but it also has, as I have said before, its inspirations which tend to counteract each other . . . There have been times in war where I thought nothing could be quite as wearing and tearing as that with lives directly involved. But I would say, on the whole, this is the most wearing, although not necessarily, as I say, the most tiring."
The President's News Conference at Key West, Florida, 1/8/56

"Many people are always saying the Presidency is too big a job for any one man. When I hear this assertion, I always try to point out that a single man must make the final decisions that affect the whole, but that proper organization brings to him only the questions and problems on which his decisions are needed. His own job is to be mentally prepared to make those decisions and then to be supported by an organization that will make sure they are carried out."
Letter, DDE to Dillon Anderson, 1/22/68 [DDE's Post-Presidential Papers, 1968 Principal File, Box 36, "An"]

"On the other hand, I found that getting things done sometimes required other weapons from the Presidential arsenal -- persuasion, cajolery, even a little head-thumping here and there -- to say nothing of a personal streak of obstinacy which on occasion fires my boilers."
Some Thoughts on the Presidency, Reader's Digest, November 1968


"In other words, our form of government has no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don't care what it is."
Address at the Freedoms Foundation, Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, New York, 12/22/52

"Today I think that prayer is just simply a necessity, because by prayer I believe we mean an effort to get in touch with the Infinite. We know that even our prayers are imperfect. Even our supplications are imperfect. Of course they are. We are imperfect human beings. But if we can back off from those problems and make the effort, then there is something that ties us all together. We have begun in our grasp of that basis of understanding, which is that all free government is firmly founded in a deeply-felt religious faith."
Remarks at the Dedicatory Prayer Breakfast of the International Christian Leadership, 2/5/53

"The churches of America are citadels of our faith in individual freedom and human dignity. This faith is the living source of all our spiritual strength. And this strength is our matchless armor in our world-wide struggle against the forces of godless tyranny and oppression."
Message to the National Co-Chairmen, Commission of Religious Organizations, National Conference on Christians and Jews, 7/9/53

"From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country's true meaning.
Especially is this meaningful as we regard today's world. Over the globe, mankind has been cruelly torn by violence and brutality and, by the millions, deadened in mind and soul by a materialistic philosophy of life. Man everywhere is appalled by the prospect of atomic war. In this somber setting, this law and its effects today have profound meaning. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource, in peace or in war."
Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill to Include the Words "Under God" in the Pledge to the Flag, 6/14/54

"Faith is the mightiest force that man has at his command. It impels human beings to greatness in thought and word and deed."
Address at the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Evanston, Illinois, 8/19/54 [AUDIO]

"We are essentially a religious people. We are not merely religious, we are inclined, more today than ever, to see the value of religion as a practical force in our affairs."
Address at the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Evanston, Illinois, 8/19/54 [AUDIO]

"Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first -- the most basic -- expression of Americanism. Thus the Founding Fathers saw it, and thus, with God's help, it will continue to be."
Remarks Recorded for the "Back-to-God" Program of the American Legion, 2/20/55

"Since the day of creation, the fondest hopes of men and women have been to pass on to their children something better than they themselves enjoyed. That hope represents a spark of the Divine which is implanted in every human breast."
Address at the Signing of the Declaration of Principles at the Meeting of the Presidents in Panama City, 7/22/56

"The purpose is Divine; the implementation is human. Our country and its government have made mistakes -- human mistakes. They have been of the head -- not of the heart. And it is still true that the great concept of the dignity of all men, alike created in the image of the Almighty, has been the compass by which we have tried and are trying to steer our course."
Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, 1/10/57

"Basic to our democratic civilization are the principles and convictions that have bound us together as a nation. Among these are personal liberty, human rights, and the dignity of man. All these have their roots in a deeply held religious faith -- in a belief in God."
Address at U.S. Naval Academy Commencement, 6/4/58

"The freedom of a citizen and the freedom of a religious believer are more than intimately related; they are mutually dependent. These two liberties give life to the heart of our Nation."
Remarks at the Cornerstone-Laying Ceremony for the Interchurch Center, New York City, New York, 10/12/58 [AUDIO]



"My constant prayer, these days, as I start my backswing is, 'Oh, please let me swing slowly.' The trouble is that sometimes I wonder whether I swing at all; whether I am not strictly a chopper."
Letter, DDE to Bobby Jones, 7/28/51 [DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 63, Jones, Robert Tyre Jr.]

"The other day Aks and I went up to your ranch for a day's fishing. I cannot remember any day when we have had more fun on a stream. We had along with us three newspaper men and a few secret service people, many of whom had never seen a trout stream, so we did the thing up right by borrowing frying pans, bacon and corn meal from the wife of your rancher -- and we cooked an outdoor meal for the crowd. It was really quite a day."
Letter, DDE to Bal F. Swan, 8/15/53 [DDE's Papers as President, Name Series, Box 7, "Denver, 1953"]

"One of the things that I noticed in war was how difficult it was for our soldiers, at first, to realize that there are no rules to war. Our men were raised in sports, where a referee runs a football game, or an umpire a baseball game, and so forth."
Remarks at the Conference of the National Women's Advisory Committee on Civil Defense, 10/26/54 [AUDIO]

"And the other was this: the doctor did want to take off my leg because he thought it was necessary. But you must remember boys in those days were raised for two things: work, and then they made their play; and if you couldn't play baseball and box and play football, why, your life was ended. That was in our boyish minds."
Radio and Television Broadcast: "The Women Ask the President," 10/24/56

"But I think a life of raising prize cattle, going shooting two or three times a year, fishing in the summer, and interspersing the whole thing with some golf and bridge -- and whenever I felt like talking or writing, doing it with abandon and with no sense of responsibility whatsoever -- maybe such a life wouldn't be so bad."
Letter, DDE to Alfred M. Gruenther, 11/2/56 [The Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Volume XVII - The Presidency: The Middle Way, Part XI, Chapter 22]

"I have just realized that it is due to you, and to Mr. James Thomas and his staff of the Army Navy Country Club that the putting green here on the White House lawn is already in such excellent condition. I assure you that I get a great deal of pleasure and relaxation out of using the green in an occasional late afternoon hour . . ."
Letter, DDE to Rear Admiral John S. Phillips, 4/12/57 [DDE's Papers as President, President's Personal File, Box 10, 1-A-7 Golf (4)]

"Not only do I have a great love for the game of golf -- no matter how badly I play it -- but I have also the belief that through every kind of meeting, through every kind of activity to which we can bring together more often and more intimately peoples of our several countries, by that measure we will do something to solve the difficulties and the tensions that this poor old world seems nowadays to so much endure."
Remarks to Representatives of World Amateur Golf Team Championship Conference, 5/2/58 [AUDIO]

"Probably no one here knows I coached a football team -- a service team -- playing against Georgetown. I think it was in the fall of 1924 Lou Little was your coach, and he beat us. But it was a very happy circumstance, because it brought me the friendship of another man, Lou Little, who to this day remains my very warm associate and friend."
Remarks at the Dedication of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University, 10/13/58 [AUDIO]

"Well, a funny thing, there are three that I like all for the same reason, golf, fishing, and shooting, and I do because first, they take you into the fields. There is mild exercise, the kind that an older individual probably should have. And on top of it, it induces you to take at any one time 2 or 3 hours, if you can, where you are thinking of the bird or that ball or the wily trout. Now, to my mind it is a very healthful, beneficial kind of thing, and I do it whenever I get a chance, as you well know."
The President's Press Conference of 10/15/58 [AUDIO]

"Morale -- the will to win, the fighting heart -- are the honored hallmarks of the football coach and player. Likewise, they are characteristic of the enterprising executive, the successful troop leader, the established artist and the dedicated teacher and scientist."
Remarks at the First Football Hall of Fame Dinner, New York City, New York, 10/28/58 [AUDIO]

"I think of going back to the sports field again, and let's take a baseball game. Well, you have cracked out a grounder and you put in your last ounce of energy and you just happen to make first base. But you don't stop there. First base is the beginning. Now you call on all your alertness, your skill, your energy -- and you count on your teammates, you count on the people that are working with you. And the purpose of that getting on first base was to get you around to count a run."
Remarks at a Republican Men's Luncheon in Cleveland, Ohio 11/4/60 [AUDIO]

"You did not tell me what you are doing athletically just now but I do hope that if your arm comes along next spring you can get it in good shape to try out for the pitching spot on the varsity. However, if you don't make it then I suggest you take up golf which after all is the best game of all of them."
Letter, DDE to grandson David Eisenhower, 11/17/65 [DDE's Post Presidential Papers, Secretary's Series, Box 13, Eisenhower]

"But I noted with real satisfaction how well ex-footballers seemed to have leadership qualifications . . . I believe that football, perhaps more than any other sport, tends to instill in men the feeling that victory comes through hard -- almost slavish -- work, team play, self-confidence, and an enthusiasm that amounts to dedication."
At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends, page 16


"Our American heritage is threatened as much by our own indifference as it is by the most unscrupulous office seeker or by the most powerful foreign threat. The future of this Republic is in the hands of the American voter."
Speech to the New York Herald Tribune Forum, New York, NY, 10/25/1949

"In the long perspective of history, the right to vote has been one of the strongest pillars of a free society. Our first duty is to protect this right against all encroachment."
State of the Union Message, Washington, DC, 1/7/1960


"I have been called a Fascist and almost a Hitlerite - actually, I have one earnest conviction in this war. It is that no other war in history has so definitely lined up the forces of arbitrary oppression and dictatorship against those of human rights and individual liberty."
Letter from Dwight D. Eisenhower to John S.D. Eisenhower, 4/8/43 [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 173, Eisenhower John S.D. 1943-1946 (2)]

"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends."
Guildhall Address, London, 6/12/45 [AUDIO]

"War is a grim, cruel business, a business justified only as a means of sustaining the forces of good against those of evil."
Transcription made for National War Fund at request of Col. Luther L. Hill, 9/11/45

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
Address before the Canadian Club, Ottawa, Canada, 1/10/46

"Guns and tanks and planes are nothing unless there is a solid spirit, a solid heart, and great productiveness behind it."
Address to Economic Club of New York, Hotel Astor, 11/20/46

"War is mankind's most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men. Though you follow the trade of the warrior, you do so in the spirit of Washington -- not of Genghis Khan. For Americans, only threat to our way of life justifies resort to conflict."
Graduation Exercises at the United States Military Academy, 6/3/47

"Possibly my hatred of war blinds me so that I cannot comprehend the arguments they adduce. But, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a preventive war. Although this suggestion is repeatedly made, none has yet explained how war prevents war. Worse than this, no one has been able to explain away the fact that war creates the conditions that beget war."
Remarks at Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 10/19/50 [DDE's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 196, Carnegie Institute]

"Because, therefore, we are defending a way of life, we must be respectful of that way of life as we proceed to the solution of our problem. We must not violate its principles and its precepts, and we must not destroy from within what we are trying to defend from without."
Speech before NATO Council, 11/26/51 [DDE's Pre-Pres. Papers, Box 197]

"Americans, indeed, all free men, remember that in the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains."
Inaugural Address, 1/20/53 [AUDIO]

"Each and all of us must summon to mind the words of Him whom we honor this Easter time: 'When a strong man, armed, keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace'."
Statement on the Fourth Anniversary of the Signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, 4/4/53

"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. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road. the world has been taking. 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."
Address "The Chance for Peace" Delivered Before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 4/16/53 [AUDIO]

"We do not keep security establishments merely to defend property or territory or rights abroad or at sea. We keep the security forces to defend a way of life."
Remarks to the Committee for Economic Development, 5/20/54 [AUDIO]

"A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn't preventive war; that is war."
The President's News Conference of 8/11/54 [AUDIO]

"And the next thing is that every war is going to astonish you in the way it occurred, and in the way it is carried out."
The President's News Conference of 3/23/55

"I have spent my life in the study of military strength as a deterrent to war, and in the character of military armaments necessary to win a war. The study of the first of these questions is still profitable, but we are rapidly getting to the point that no war can be won."
Letter, DDE to Richard L. Simon, Simon and Schuster, Inc., 4/4/56 [DDE's Papers as President, DDE Diaries Series, Box 14, April 1956 Miscellaneous (5)]

"When we get to the point, as we one day will, that both sides know that in any outbreak of general hostilities, regardless of the element of surprise, destruction will be both reciprocal and complete, possibly we will have sense enough to meet at the conference table with the understanding that the era of armaments has ended and the human race must conform its actions to this truth or die."
Letter, DDE to Richard L. Simon, Simon and Schuster, Inc., 4/4/56 [DDE's Papers as President, DDE Diaries Series, Box 14, April 1956 Miscellaneous (5)]

"Arms alone can give the world no permanent peace, no confident security. Arms are solely for defense -- to protect from violent assault what we already have. They are only a costly insurance. They cannot add to human progress."
Address before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Statler Hotel, Washington, DC, 4/21/56 [AUDIO]

"We know something of the cost of that war. We were in it from December seventh, '41, till August of '45. Ever since that time, we have been waging peace. It has had its ups and downs just as the war did."
The President's News Conference of 6/6/56

"The only way to win the next world war is to prevent it."
Address at a Rally in the Civic Auditorium, Seattle, Washington, 10/17/56

"We must be strong at home if we are going to be strong abroad. We understand that. So we want to be strong at home in our morale or in our spirit, we want to be strong intellectually, in our education, in our economy and, where necessary, militarily."
Radio and Television Broadcast: "The Women Ask the President," 10/24/56

"The hope of the world is that wisdom can arrest conflict between brothers. I believe that war is the deadly harvest of arrogant and unreasoning minds. And I find grounds for this belief in the wisdom literature of Proverbs. It says in effect this: Panic strikes like a storm and calamity comes like a whirlwind to those who hate knowledge and ignore their God."
Address at the Centennial Celebration Banquet of the National Education Association, 4/4/57 [AUDIO]

"First, separate ground, sea and air warfare is gone forever. If ever again we should be involved in war, we will fight it in all elements, with all services, as one single concentrated effort."
Special Message to the Congress on Reorganization of the Defense Establishment, 4/3/58

"Now this brings me to my main topic -- our military strength -- more specifically, how to stay strong against threat from outside, without undermining the economic health that supports our security."
Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the International Press Institute, 4/17/58

"First, separate ground, sea and air warfare is gone forever. This lesson we learned in World War II. I lived that lesson in Europe. Others lived it in the Pacific. Millions of American veterans learned it well."
Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the International Press Institute, 4/17/58

"Now all of us deplore this vast military spending. Yet, in the face of the Soviet attitude, we realize its necessity. Whatever the cost, America will keep itself secure. But in the process we must not, by our own hand, destroy or distort the American system. This we could do by useless overspending. I know one sure way to overspend. That is by overindulging sentimental attachments to outmoded military machines and concepts."
Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the International Press Institute, 4/17/58

"I know something about that war, and I never want to see that history repeated. But, my fellow Americans, it certainly can be repeated if the peace-loving democratic nations again fearfully practice a policy of standing idly by while big aggressors use armed force to conquer the small and weak."
Radio and Television Report to the American People Regarding the Situation in the Formosa Straits, 9/11/58

"Any survey of the free world's defense structure cannot fail to impart a feeling of regret that so much of our effort and resources must be devoted to armaments."
Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, 1/9/59

"But all history has taught us the grim lesson that no nation has ever been successful in avoiding the terrors of war by refusing to defend its rights -- by attempting to placate aggression."
Radio and Television Report to the American People: Security in the Free World, 3/16/59

"In this hope, among the things we teach to the young are such truths as the transcendent value of the individual and the dignity of all people, the futility and stupidity of war, its destructiveness of life and its degradation of human values."
Address at the Opening Session of the White House Conference on Children and Youth, College Park, Maryland, 3/27/60

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
Farewell Radio and Television Address to the American People, 1/17/61

"Morale is the greatest single factor in successful war."
Crusade in Europe, page 210

"Nothing is easy in war. Mistakes are always paid for in casualties and troops are quick to sense any blunder made by their commanders."
Crusade in Europe, page 450

"We need an adequate defense, but every arms dollar we spend above adequacy has a long-term weakening effect upon the nation and its security."
Waging Peace, page 622


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