Quotations – D


“I approve of people that like to dance dancing as much as they wish.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on December 23, 1924.


“Debt reduction is tax reduction.”

Source: Messages and Papers of the Presidents, p. 9723.

“Perhaps one of the greatest satisfactions of my administration lies in the very marked reduction of the national debt since I have been President.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on October 4, 1927.


“America represents the greatest treasure that there is on earth, the greatest power that there is to minister to the welfare of mankind; to leave it unprepared and unprotected is not only to disregard the national welfare, but to be no less than guilty of a crime against civilization.”

Source: “The Destiny Of America,” on May 30, 1923. As found in The Price of Freedom.

“A people who neglect their national defense are putting in jeopardy their national honor.”

Source: “First Annual Message To The Congress,” on December 6, 1923. As found in The Mind of the President.

“I wish crime might be abolished; but I would not therefore abolish courts and police protection. I wish war might be made impossible but I would not leave my country unprotected . . .”

Source: Letter to National Council for Prevention of War, on July 23, 1924. As found in The Mind of the President, p. 235-236.


“It is not sufficient to entrust details to someone else. They must be entrusted to someone who is competent.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 196.


“There is and can be no doubt of the triumph of democracy in human affairs, than there is of the triumph of gravitation in the physical world; the only question is how and when.”

Source: “At The Home Of Daniel Webster,” on July 4, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.


” . . . there were some quarters in the opposing party where it was thought it would be good strategy to encourage my party to nominate me [in 1924], thinking that it would be easy to accomplish my defeat. I do not know whether their judgment was wrong or whether they overdid the operation . . .”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 187.


“If the people have sufficient moderation and contentment to be willing to improve their condition by the process of enlarging production, eliminating waste, and distributing equitably, a prosperity almost without limit lies before us. If the people are to be dominated by selfishness, seeking immediate riches by nonproductive speculation and by wasteful quarreling over the returns from industry, they will be confronted by the inevitable results of depression and privation. If they will continue industrious and thrifty, contented with fair wages and moderate profits, and the returns which accrue from the development of our natural resources, our prosperity will extend itself indefinitely.”

Source: “Third Annual Message to Congress,” on December 8, 1925. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“When depression in business comes we begin to be very conservative in our financial affairs. We save our money and take no chances in its investment. Yet in our political actions we go in the opposite direction. We begin to support radical measures and cast our votes for those who advance the most reckless proposals.

“This is a curious and illogical reaction. When times are good we might take a chance on a radical government. But when we are financially weakened we need the soundest and wisest of men and measures.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, October 7, 1930.

“If business can be let alone and assured of reasonable freedom from governmental interference and increased taxes, that will do more than all kinds of legislation to relieve depression. Local governments are justified in spending all the money necessary for direct relief of distress. But the nation and the states will only increase the difficulties by undertaking to restore confidence through legislation. It will be the part of wisdom to give business a free hand to supply its own remedies.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, October 20, 1930.

Depression, Great

“We may say that it was the result of greed and selfishness. But what body is to be specifically charged with that? Were the wage earners too greedy in getting all they could for their work? Were the managers of enterprise, big and little, too greedy in trying to operate at a profit? Were the farmers too greedy in their efforts to make more money by tilling more land and enlarging their production?

“The most we can say is that there has been a general lack of judgment so widespread as to involve practically the whole country. We have learned that we were not so big as we thought we were. We shall have to keep nearer to the ground. We shall not feel so elated, but we shall be much safer.”

Source: Quoted in Yankee Magazine, January 1996.


“If we did not have the privilege of doing what we wanted to do, we had the much greater benefit of doing what we ought to do.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 55.

“It broke down our selfishness, it conquered our resistance, it supplanted impulse, and finally it enthroned reason.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 55.

“We live in an impatient age. We demand results. We find a long and laborious process very irksome, and are constantly seeking for a short cut. But there is no easy method of securing discipline. It is axiomatic that there is no royal road to learning. The effort for discipline must be intensive, and to a considerable degree it must be lifelong. But it is absolutely necessary if there is to be any self-direction or any self-control. The worst evil that could be inflicted upon the youth of the land would be to leave them without restraint and completely at the mercy of their own uncontrolled inclinations. Under such conditions education would be impossible, and all orderly development intellectually or morally would be hopeless. I do not need to picture the result. We know too well what weakness and depravity follow when the ordinary processes of discipline are neglected.”

Source: “Authority And Religious Liberty,” on September 21, 1924. As found in Foundations of the Republic.


“It is the natural and correct attitude of mind for each of us to have regard for our own origin. There is abundant room here for the preservation and development of the many divergent virtues that are characteristic of the different races which have made America home. They ought to cling to all these virtues and cultivate them tenaciously.”

Source: “The Genius Of America,” on October 16, 1924. As found in The Mind of the President.

“It is not desirable that we should all attempt to be alike. Progress is not secured through uniformity and similarity but rather multiplicity and diversity. We should all be intent on maintaining our own institutions and customs, preserving the purity of our own language and literature, fostering the ideals of our own culture and society. . . . Instead of considering our variations an obstacle, we ought to realize that they are a contribution to harmonious political and economic relations.”

Source: “Address Before Pan American Conference,” on January 26, 1928. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.


“The suspension of one man’s dividends is the suspension of another man’s pay envelope.”

Source: “Have Faith In Massachusetts: Massachusetts Senate President Acceptance Speech,” on January 7, 1914. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.


“The theory of the United States is for each nation to defend itself, cultivate friendly relations with others and reduce armaments so that they are not considered a menace anywhere. This theory disarms for security.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, September 9, 1930.


“Duty is not collective; it is personal.”

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

“No man has a right to place his own ease or convenience or the opportunity of making money above his duty to the State.”

Source: “A Proclamation,” on September 24, 1919. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

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