Presidential Pop Quiz: Quotes by Famous Men from American History

Posted February 17, 2012 by Denise Gangnes
In honor of Presidents' Day, greatquotes.com has compiled a pop quiz of quotes by Famous Men in American History (aka, the guys we can thank for our holiday on Monday). Let's see if you can guess which one of our Founding Fathers is responsible for the following presidential quotes?

"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."
"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

If you guessed these are Abraham Lincoln quotes, give yourself 3 points. Our 16th president, responsible for freeing the slaves during the Civil War, was a gifted and thoughtful president, composed under pressure during an extremely stressful time in our history. One of the most famous presidential quotes from Lincoln comes from his leadership during the Civil War crisis: "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
If you did really well on that one and now feel incredibly knowledgeable, let's take "Revolutionary War Presidential Quotes for $400, Alex". Here are a few you may or may not recognize.

"America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy."
"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

Not as easy? Here are some clues: This president was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, nominated George Washington for president, and his son also became president. Any guesses? If you surmised these were the presidential quotes of John Adams, you are correct! Our second president was defeated in the election for his second term by the founding father responsible for these quotes:

"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."
"The most valuable of all talents is never using two words when one will do."
"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."

If you know your Famous Men from American History at all, you will recognize these as Thomas Jefferson presidential quotes. Our 3rd president served as governor of Virginia, authored the Declaration of Independence, and lived at Monticello. A progressive and multi-faceted leader responsible for the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson lived up to his quote, "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."


Ready for the Daily Double in presidential quotes? Try these on for size:

"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."
"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world."

This leader had the intimidating responsibility of taking on the role of president for our newly created government. George Washington's quote, "Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses" likely reflects his experiences dealing with the overwhelming political challenges involved with ruling a new country and presiding over the writing of the Constitution - all that without a decent set of teeth!
We hope you did well on our quiz today, and that you impress your friends with quotes from these Famous Men from American History. Visiting our nation's capital is a wonderful way to find out more about their accomplishments; viewing the movie about John Adams starring Paul Giamatti or the Ken Burns' film on Thomas Jefferson are also great ways to honor our presidents. I can almost hear them singing ... "Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims' pride, From ev'ry mountainside Let freedom ring!"


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Authors Mentioned: Abraham Lincoln George Washington



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