As Barack Obama takes the office of president of the United States, the country is filled with hope and optimism for the future.
That same optimism certainly filled the hearts and minds of past generations when a change of leadership followed tough times, whether economic or times of war and change.
Change has been the buzz word throughout Obama’s campaign, no doubt enticing the younger generation to climb aboard the bandwagon and, probably for the first time, take an interest in politics.
This excitment and anticipation for change is a good thing, and it will be interesting to see if President Obama can successfully navigate the challenge of propelling the United States into a new era — and fulfill the promise so many Americans seem to expect.
That said, there is much to learn from past presidents, and what they accomplished and experienced throughout our rich history. Instead of attempting to dig through the anals of history, in the spirit of “Words of Wisdom” regularly found on the bottom right-hand corner of this page, here’s a sampling of some influential or noteworthy presidential thoughts:
“In executing the duties of my present important station,
I can promise nothing but purity of intentions, and, in
carrying these into effect, fidelity and diligence.”
—George Washington, 1st President
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.”
— John Adams, 2nd President
“All the measures of government are directed to the
purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.”
— William Harrison, 9th President
“The legitimate object of government is to do for a
community of people whatever they need to have done, but
cannot do at all, in their separate and individual capacities.”
“These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people.”
— Abraham Lincoln, 16th President
“If we do not abolish war on this earth, then surely, one day war will abolish us from the earth.”
— Harry S. Truman, 33rd President
“The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President
“When the President does it, that means that it is not
— Richard Nixon, 37th President
“I think the President is the only person who can change the direction or attitude of our nation.”
— Jimmy Carter, 39th President