Monday, February 15, 2010

Honoring Our Presidents


This President's Day, I thought that it might be a powerful exercise to pull together some quotations about reading, books and education from some of our presidents:

John Adams (1797-1801)
"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
"I cannot live without books."

James Madison (1809-1817)
"A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people."

Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read."

Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
"It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word."

Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
"Law without education is a dead letter. With education the needed law follows without effort and, of course, with power to execute itself; indeed, it seems to execute itself."

James A. Garfield (1881)
"Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained."

William McKinley (1897-1901)
"Illiteracy must be banished from the land if we shall attain that high destiny as the foremost of the enlightened nations of the world which, under Providence, we ought to achieve."

John Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers."

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
"We all know that books burn—yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. . . [W]e know books are weapons. And it is a part of your dedication to make them weapons for man’s freedom"

Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers."

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

Lyndon Baines Johnson (1963-1969)
"Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens."

James Earl Carter, Jr. (1977-1981)
"If you're totally illiterate and living on one dollar a day, the benefits of globalization never come to you."

William Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001)
"Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens."

George W. Bush (2001-2009)
"In this job, there are some simple pleasures that really help you cope. One is books, I mean, books are a great escape. Books are a way to get your mind on something else."

Barack Obama (2009-Present)
“We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.”

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