/ January 19, 2009

Week in Review: Famous Inaugural Quotes

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”

John F. Kennedy, 1961 

“Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933
“To few of us here today, this is a solemn and most momentous occasion; and yet, in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence.  The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries and few of us stop to think how unique we really are.  In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.
Ronald Reagan, 1981
“The greatest progress we have made, and the greatest progress we have yet to make, is in the human heart.  In the end, all the world’s wealth and a thousand armies are no match for the strength and decency of the human spirit.”
William Jefferson Clinton , 1997
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battel for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Abraham Lincoln, 1865
“Previous to the execution of any official act of the President, the Constitution requires an oath of office.  This oath I am now about to take…”
George Washington, 1793 (an excerpt from his very short second inaugural address)
“Through much of the last century, America’s faith in freedom and democracy was a rock in a raging sea.  Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations.  Our democratic faith is more than the creed of our country, it is the inborn hope of our humanity, an ideal we care but do not own, a trust we bear and pass along.”
George W. Bush, 2001 

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