Quotations – A


“One should never trouble about getting a better job. But one should do one’s present job in such a manner as to qualify for a better job when it comes along.”

Source: Coolidge: An American Enigma, p. 80.


“Goods not worth advertising are not worth selling.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, December 6, 1930.


“No complicated scheme of relief, no plan for Government fixing of prices, no resort to the public Treasury will be of any permanent value in establishing agriculture.”

Source: “First Annual Message To The Congress,” on December 6, 1923.


“It is my information that one in every 11 of the white people that live in Alaska are on the Federal payroll. Business is not brisk up there. There are some fisheries there and some mining, but we are spending $11,000,000 a year so I think the best line of endevour that there is in Alaska is to get on the Federal payroll. Now I presume it is unconscious, but a condition of that kind would stimulate an activity on the part of those that aren’t on the payroll to criticism of those that are, in order that a change might be made to their advantage, so that whenever there are protests against Federal officers up there they have to be viewed with that in mind.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on November 20, 1925.


“America follows no such delusion as a place in the sun for the strong by the destruction of the weak. America seeks rather, by giving of her strength for the service of the weak, a place in eternity.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 121.

“America has been a success.”

Source: “Speech At Tremont Temple,” on November 1, 1919. As Found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

“It is sometimes assumed that Americans care only for material things, that they are bent only on that kind of success which can be cashed into dollars and cents. That is a very narrow and unintelligent opinion. We have been successful beyond others in great commercial and industrial enterprises because we have been a people of vision. Our prosperity has resulted not by disregarding but by maintaining high ideals. Material resources do not, and cannot, stand alone; they are the product of spiritual resources. It is because America, as a nation, has held fast to the higher things of life, because it has had a faith in mankind which it has dared to put to the test of self-government, because it has believed greatly in honor and righteousness, that a great material prosperity has been added unto it.”

Source: “Great Virginians,” on July 6, 1922. As Found in The Price of Freedom.

“There is no reason for Americans to lack confidence in themselves or their institutions. Let him who doubts them look about him. Let him consider the power of his country, its agriculture, its industry, its commerce, its development of the arts and sciences, its great cities, its enormous wealth, its organized society, and let him remember that all this is the accomplishment of but three centuries. Surely we must conclude that here is a people with a character which is not to be shaken.”

Source: “Great Virginians,” on July 6, 1922. As Found in The Price of Freedom.

“America seeks no earthly empire built on blood and force. No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions. The legions which she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the cross. The higher State to which she seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not of human, but of divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God.”

Source: “Inaugural Address,” on March 4, 1925. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“There has been abroad many times some criticism of our Government, of our people, and our ways, but that has demonstrated, I think, that when they are in real trouble and real difficulty over there, they turn to us as a nation that will be fair with them–one in whose judgment and in whose character they can rely; and notwithstanding differences that have seemed to exist, they are willing to abide by the faith that they have in us, and I think it is a very substantial accomplishment.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on December 11, 1923.

“We do not need to import any foreign economic ideas or any foreign government. We had better stick to the American brand of government, the American brand of equality, the American brand of wages. America had better stay American.”

Source: “The High Price of Labor,” on September 1, 1924. As found in The Mind of the President.

“The encouraging feature of our country is not that it has reached our destination, but that it has overwhelmingly expressed its determination to proceed in the right direction.”

Source: “Inaugural Address,” on March 4, 1925. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“In the fullness of time America was called into being under the most favoring circumstances, to work out the problem of a more perfect relationship among mankind that government and society might be brought into harmony with reason and with conscience.”

Source: “The Purpose of America,” on February 22, 1922.

“Our first duty is to ourselves. American standards must be maintained. American institutions must be preserved.”

Source:  Adequate Brevity, pg. 10.

“The trial which the civilization of America is to meet does not lie in adversity. It lies in prosperity. It will not be in a lack of power, but in the purpose directing the use of great power. There is new danger in our very greatness.”

Source: “The Power Of The Moral Law,” on October, 11, 1921. As found in The Price of Freedom.

“It is our one desire to make America more American. There is no greater service that we can render the oppressed of the earth than to maintain in violate the freedom of our own citizens.”

Source: Tremont Temple,” on November 2, 1918.

“Our country, our people, our civil and religious institutions may not be perfect, but they are what we have made them. They are good enough so that it has been necessary to build a high exclusion law to prevent all the world from rushing in to possess them.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, on June 30, 1930.

“The higher our standards, the greater our progress, the more we can do for the world.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, on July 23, 1930.


“We have been, and propose to be, more and more American. We believe that we can best serve our own country and most successfully discharge our obligations to humanity by continuing to be openly and candidly, in tensely and scrupulously, American.”

Source: “Inaugural Address,” on March 4, 1925. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

American Revolution

“If the American Revolution meant anything, it meant the determination to live under a reign of law. It meant the assertion of the right of the people to adopt their own constitutions, and when so adopted, the duty of all the people to abide by them.”

Source: “Great Virginians,” on July 6, 1922. As Found in The Price of Freedom.

“The meaning of the American Revolution is now clear to us; it was conservative; it had as its purpose the preservation of the ancient rights of English freemen, which were not new even when they were set out in the Great Charter of the day of King John; it represented an extension of the right of the people to govern themselves.”

Source: Adequate Brevity, p. 11.


“There’s too ready a hearing abroad for Americans who make a habit of criticizing their own country.”

Source: Meet Calvin Coolidge, p. 177.


” . . . we do not choose our ancestors.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 37.


“In public life it is sometimes necessary to appear really natural to be actually artificial.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 20.


“We are able to give more attention to the schoolhouse than formerly. It ought to be not only convenient, commodious, and sanitary, but it ought to be a work of art which would appeal to the love of the beautiful. The schoolhouse itself ought to impress the scholar with an ideal, it ought to serve as an inspiration.”

Source: “Education: the Cornerstone of Self-Government,” on July 4, 1924. As found in Foundations of the Republic.


“It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan.”

Source: “What It Means To Be A Boy Scout,” on July 25, 1924. As found in Foundations of the Republic.


“Can those entrusted with the gravest authority set any example save that of the sternest obedience to the law?”

Source:A Message To The Legislature Of Massachusetts Accompanying The Governor’s Veto,” on May 6, 1920. As found in The Price of Freedom. 

“The authority of the law is questioned these days all too much. The binding obligation of obedience against personal desire is denied in many quarters. If these doctrines prevail all organized government, all liberty, all security are at an end.”

Source:A Message To The Legislature Of Massachusetts Accompanying The Governor’s Veto,” on May 6, 1920. As found in The Price of Freedom.

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