Quotations – F


“The man who builds a factory builds a temple, . . . the man who works there worships there, and to each is due, not scorn and blame, but reverence and praise.”

Source: “Speech To The Amherst College Alumni Association,” on February 4, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.


“Fate bestows its rewards on those who put themselves in the proper attitude to receive them.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 180.

“We know that only ignorance and superstition seek to explain events by fate and destiny.”

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

Federal Funding

“One insidious practice which sugar-coats the dose of Federal intrusion is the division of expense for public improvements or services between state and national treasuries. The ardent States Rights advocate sees in this practice a vicious weakening of the state system. The extreme federalist is apt to look upon it in cynical fashion as bribing the states into subordination. The average American, believing in our dual-sovereignty system, must feel that the policy of national-doles to the states is bad and may become disastrous. We may go on yet for a time with the easy assumption that ‘if the states will not, the nation must.’ But that way lies trouble. When the National Treasury contributes half, there is temptation to extravagance by the state. We have seen some examples in connection with the Federal contributions to road building. Yet there are constant demands for more Federal contributions. Whenever by that plan we take something from one group of states and give it to another group, there is grave danger that we do an economic injustice on one side and a political injury on the other. We impose unfairly on the strength of the strong, and we encourage the weak to indulge their weakness.”

Source: “The Reign of Law,” on May 30, 1925. As found in The Mind of the President.

“The financial programme of the Chief Executive does not contemplate expansion of these subsidies. My policy in this matter is not predicated alone on the drain which these subsidies make on the National Treasury, This of itself is sufficient to cause concern. But I am fearful that this broadening of the field of government activities is detrimental to both the Federal and the state governments. Efficiency of Federal operations is impaired as their scope is duly enlarged. Efficiency of state governments is impaired as they relinquish responsibilities which are rightfully theirs.”

Source: “Address at A Meeting Of The Business Organization Of The Government,” on January 21, 1924. As found in The Mind of the President.

“Unfortunately the Federal Government has strayed far afield from its legitimate business. It has trespassed upon fields where there should be no trespass. If we could confine our Federal expenditures to the legitimate obligations and functions of the Federal Government, a material reduction would be apparent. But far more important than this would be its effect upon the fabric of our constitutional form of government, which tends to be gradually weakened and undermined by this encroachment. The cure for this is not in our hands. It lies with the people. It will come when they realize the necessity of State assumption of State responsibility. It will come when they realize that the laws under which the Federal Government hands out contributions to the states are placing upon them a double burden of taxation–Federal taxation in the first instance to raise the moneys which the Government donates to the states, and state taxation in the second instance to meet the extravagances of state expenditures which are tempted by Federal donations.”

Source: “Address at A Meeting Of The Business Organization Of The Government,” on January 21, 1924. As found in The Mind of the President.

“While the amount of money taken annually from the federal Treasury for subsidies to states is not inconsiderable, the dangers inherent in the policy are of greater importance. To relieve the states of their just obligations by resort to the federal Treasury in the final resort is hurtful rather than helpful to the state and unfair to the payers of national taxes. To tempt the states by federal subsidies to sacrifice their vested rights is not a wholesome practice no matter how worthy the object to be attained.

“Federal interference in state functions can never be justified as a permanent continuing policy even if, which is doubtful, such interference is warranted by emergency conditions as a temporary expedient. . . . [W]here once the Government engages in such an enterprise, it is almost impossible to terminate its connection therewith. We should not only decidedly refuse to countenance additional federal participation in state-aid projects, but should make careful study of all our activities of that character with a view to curtailing them.”

Source: “The 1927 Budget Message,” on December 5, 1927. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.


“What we need is not more Federal government, but better local government.”

Source: “The Reign of Law,” on May 30, 1925. As found in The Mind of the President.


“I have been so busy out at the Lodge catching fish–there are 45,000 out there–I haven’t caught them all yet, but I have all pretty well intimidated.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on August 7, 1928.

Flag, United States

“It was never flaunted for the glory of royalty, but to be born under it is to be born a child of a king, and to establish a home under it is to be the founder of a royal house.”

Source: “Flag Day Proclamation,” on May 26, 1919. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

“He who lives under it and is loyal to it is loyal to truth and justice everywhere. He who lives under it and is disloyal to it is a traitor to the human race everywhere.”

Source: “Flag Day Proclamation,” on May 26, 1919. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

“We do honor to the stars and stripes as the emblem of our country and the symbol of all that our patriotism means.

We identify the flag with almost everything we hold dear on earth. It represents our peace and security, our civil and political liberty, our freedom of religious worship, our family, our friends, our home. We see it in the great multitude of blessings, of rights and privileges that make up our country.

But when we look at our flag and behold it emblazoned with all our rights, we must remember that it is equally a symbol of our duties. Every glory that we associate with it is the result of duty done. A yearly contemplation of our flag strengthens and purifies the national conscience.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, June 12, 1931.


“I haven’t visited Florida. I judge from current news reports that Florida is not in need just at the present time of additional guests.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on November 3, 1925.

Foreign Policy

“America stands ready to bear its share of the burdens of the world, but it cannot live the life of other peoples, it cannot remove from them the necessity of working out their own destiny. It recognizes their independence and the right to establish their own form of government, but America will join no nation in destroying what it believes out to be preserved or in profaning what it believes ought to be held sacred. We are at peace with all peoples.”

Source: “The Purpose Of America,” on February 22, 1922. As found in The Price of Freedom.

“It isn’t helpful for me to keep talking about certain foreign relations unless there is some development that warrants some statement on my part. I didn’t really want to keep rehashing practically the same thing, because it irritates foreign countries oftentimes and they wonder why the White House keeps making statements that don’t appear to them to be very helpful.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on April 10, 1925.

“Our Government does not propose, however, to enter into relations with another regime which refuses to recognize the sanctity of international obligations. I do not propose to barter away for the privilege of trade any of the cherished rights of humanity. I do not propose to make merchandise of American principles. These rights and principles must go wherever the sanctions of our Government go.”

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

“While having a due regard for our own affairs, the protection of our own rights, and the advancement of our own people, we can afford to be liberal toward others. Our example has become of great importance in the world. It is recognized that we are independent, detached, and can and do take a disinterested position in relation to international affairs. Our charity embraces the earth. Our trade is far flung. Our financial favors are widespread. Those who are peaceful and law-abiding realize that not only they have nothing to fear from us, but that they can rely on our moral support. Proposals for promoting the peace of the world will have careful consideration. . . . We know that peace comes from honesty and fair dealing, from moderation, and a generous regard for the rights of others. The heart of the Nation is more important than treaties. A spirit of generous consideration is a more certain defense than great armaments.”

Source: “Fifth Annual Message To Congress,” on December 6, 1927. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“Nations which are worn by dissension and discord, which are weak and inefficient at home, have little standing or influence abroad. Even the blind do not chose the blind to lead them.”

Source:Memorial Exercises at Arlington, Virginia,” on May 30, 1927. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“We have sufficient reserve resources so that we need not be hasty in asserting our rights. We can afford to let our patience be commensurate with our power.”

Source:Memorial Exercises at Arlington, Virginia,” on May 30, 1927. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“We can best deal with a nation that maintains our standards of living.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, July 30, 1930.

“From the time when President Washington negotiated the Jay Treaty with England up to the present hour, almost every important agreement ratified with a foreign power has been accompanied in this country by bitter criticism of our own government, and wholesale assaults upon the other contracting country. Yet in the light of history, it would be hard to find such an agreement that has not been fairly justified by results. After the bad temper of the period has been dissipated by time and reason, the mutual advantages have been apparent. Our diplomacy has not been inferior. Our statesmen have been able to be just to ourselves and fair to others.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, September 11, 1930.


“There is an obligation to forgive but it does not extend to the unrepentant. To give them aid and comfort is to support their evil doing and to become what is known in law as an accessory after the fact. A government which does that is a reproach to civilization and will soon have on its hands the blood of its citizens.”

Source: “Republican State Convention,” on October 4, 1919. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

Free Enterprise

“I favor the American system of individual enterprise, and I am opposed to any general extension of government ownership, and control.”

Source: “Accepting Nomination As Republican Candidate for President,” on August 14, 1924. As found in Calvin Coolidge of Northampton.


“There is no greater service that we can render the oppressed of the earth than to maintain inviolate the freedom of our own citizens.”

Source: “Speech at Tremont Temple,” on November 2, 1918. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

“There is no substitute for a militant freedom. The only alternative is submission and slavery.”

Source: “Ulysses S. Grant,” on April 27, 1922. As found in The Price of Freedom.

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