50 Presidents’ Day Quotes Celebrating Past US Presidents

A wonderful way to celebrate Presidents’ day is by reading some of the most inspiring quotes by America’s best leaders.

Share which of these presidents day quotes was your favorite.

Presidents’ Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February to honor iconic presidents.

A survey by the Pew Research Center found that presidential quotes are among the most widely shared and cited on social media platforms, with many Americans turning to the words of past presidents for guidance, inspiration, and reassurance. 

This demonstrates the ongoing relevance of presidential day quotes in the digital age.

What are the benefits of reading these Presidents’ Day quotes?

It is a time to celebrate our national statesmen and American presidents’ courage, conviction, and contributions.

Originally established in recognition of President George Washington, the holiday is now widely known as Presidents’ Day.

We popularly viewed it as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, not just George Washington.

Despite its popular name, this federal holiday is officially called George Washington’s Birthday.

Washington’s February 22 birthday was celebrated for many years before they moved it as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act to create a three-day weekend.

Today, people across the nation explore the life and contributions of America’s past leaders with activities that showcase their greatest accomplishments.

Our presidents symbolize the values that Americans hold dear:

  • courage
  • conviction
  • justice
  • equality

To help you honor them, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking Presidents’ Day quotes.

Also, check out these wise presidential quotes from past presidents.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Our inspirational quotes category page has all of our motivational quotes for all the different areas of life.

Presidents’ Day quotes celebrating past US presidents

Research from the National Constitution Center shows that presidential quotes are integral to our national memory. Many of the most iconic quotes from past presidents remain deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness.

This underscores the cultural significance of presidential day quotes in American history.

1. “The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” – George Washington

2. “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” – James Madison

3. “Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

Presidents Day quotes celebrating past US presidents

4. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

5. “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – Harry S. Truman

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You will also enjoy our article on darth vader quotes.

6. “Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” – John Quincy Adams

7. “The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.” John F. Kennedy

8. “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

9. “You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can.” – Jimmy Carter

10. “It is hard to fall, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”  – Franklin Roosevelt

Presidents’ Day quotes to honor the long history of our nation’s highest office

A survey by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research found that presidential quotes are among the most trusted and respected sources of information for many Americans, with many citing the words of past presidents as evidence of their wisdom, integrity, and moral authority. 

This highlights the enduring appeal of presidential quotes as a source of inspiration and guidance.

11. “We must work to bind up the wounds of a suffering world — to build an abiding peace, a peace rooted in justice and in law.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

12. Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – Bill Clinton

13. “As powerful as our memories are, our dreams must be even stronger. For when our memories outweigh our dreams, we become old.” – Barack Obama

14. “Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time.” – George W. Bush

15. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan

If you’re enjoying these quotes, read our collection of Ronald Reagan quotes from the former United States President.

16. “Ideas control the world.” – James A Garfield

17. “One man with courage makes a majority.” ― Andrew Jackson

Presidents Day quotes to honor the long history of our nation's highest office

18. “It’s easier to do a job right, than to explain why you didn’t.” ― Martin Van Buren

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19. “There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power.” ― William Henry Harrison

20. “You don’t know what you can miss before you try.” ― Franklin Pierce

Presidents’ Day quotes to honor our past presidents

21. “There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They have the gift of kindness or courage or loyalty or integrity. It really matters very little whether they are behind the wheel of a truck or running a business or bringing up a family. They teach the truth by living it.” ― James Garfield

22. “Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.” ― Herbert Hoover

23. “Our country may be likened to a new house. We lack many things, but we possess the most precious of all – liberty.”  – James Monroe

24. “Every good citizen makes his country’s honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.” –  Andrew Jackson

25. “I should be pleased to see all the nations on the earth prosperous and happy and rich, for it would furnish to me the best evidence of the prosperity of my native land.” – John Tyler

26. “No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure.” – James K. Polk

Presidents Day quotes to honor our past presidents

27. “In all disputes between conflicting governments, it is our interest not less than our duty to remain strictly neutral.” – Zachary Taylor

28. “God knows I detest slavery, but it is an existing evil, and we must endure it and give it such protection as is guaranteed by the Constitution.” – Millard Fillmore

29. “The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” – James Buchanan

30. “In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.” –  Ulysses S. Grant

Thought-provoking Presidents’ Day quotes from past US Presidents

31. “When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.” – George Washington

32. “Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” – John Adams

33. “Never spend your money before you have earned it.” – Thomas Jefferson

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34. “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America – there’s the United States of America.” – Barack Obama

35. “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” – John Quincy Adams

36. “The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” – James Madison

37. “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

38. “Never judge a stranger by his clothes.” – Zachary Taylor

39. “You aren’t learning anything when you’re talking.” – Lyndon B. Johnson40. “War settles nothing.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Motivational Presidents’ Day quotes from past U.S. presidents

41. “Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” – Abraham Lincoln

42. “We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.” – Bill Clinton

43. “Yes we can!” – Barack Obama

44. “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” – Barack Obama

45. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

46. “A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” – Richard M. Nixon

47. “It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.” – George Washington

48. “We are not the sum of our possessions.” – George H. W. Bush

49. “The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.” – James Madison

50. “I don’t have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.” – Ronald Reagan

Which of these Presidents’ Day quotes was your favorite?

American leaders and presidents are the foundation of a country built upon justice, equality, and the preservation of human rights.

Hopefully, the above quotes will help you pay homage to the achievements and contributions of past presidents.

Did you enjoy these Presidents’ Day quotes?

Which of the quotes was your favorite?

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