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Ronald Reagan’s one hundred first birthday passed on Monday. He was born February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois.


Enjoy these quotations – 101 in all – from Mr. Reagan’s speeches. They remind us of his political temperament and his contributions to American politics:

“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”
“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.”
“I have left orders to be awakened at any time during national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.”
“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
“As government expands, liberty contracts.”
“I’ve noticed everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”
“Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.”
“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans. ”
“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”
“Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.”
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
“I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”
“Trust, but verify.”
“How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”
“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”
“We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.”
“Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.”
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
“Sometimes when I’m faced with an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we have finished eating that magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there’s a cook.”
“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”
“I’ve heard that hard work never killed anyone, but I say why take the chance?”
“Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”
“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.”
“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
“To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.”
“America is too great for small dreams.”
“Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer.”
“Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation from government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.”
“When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
“A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.”
“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
“Government is not a solution to our problem government is the problem.”
“The federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.”
“Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.”
“I’ve never been able to understand why a Republican contributor is a ‘fat cat’ and a Democratic contributor of the same amount of money is a ‘public-spirited philanthropist’.”
“Someday, the realm of liberty and justice will encompass the planet. Freedom is not just the birthright of the few, it is the God-given right of all His children, in every country. It won’t come by conquest. It will come, because freedom is right and freedom works. It will come, because cooperation and good will among free people will carry the day.”
“Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.”
“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”
“A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.”
“Socialists ignore the side of man that is the spirit. They can provide you shelter, fill your belly with bacon and beans, treat you when you’re ill, all the things guaranteed to a prisoner or a slave. They don’t understand that we also dream.”
“Life is one grand sweet song so start the music.”
“Government is like a baby: an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
“It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”
“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!
“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”
“…No people in all history paid a higher price for freedom. And no people have done so much to advance the dignity of man. We are called materialistic. May be so…but our materialism has made our children the biggest, tallest, most handsome, and intelligent generations of Americans yet. They will live longer with fewer illnesses, learn more, see more of the world, and have more success in realizing their personal dreams and ambitions than any other people in any other period of our history – because of our materialism…I think on our side of civilization and on the other side is the law of the jungle…We all have to recognize that this country has been handed the responsibility, greater than any nation, to preserve some 6000 years of civilization against the barbarians.”
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
“The future doesn’t belong to the light-hearted. It belongs to the brave.”
“Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”
“A people free to choose will always choose peace. ”
“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives”
“Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them.”
“The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away.”
“They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where — because of our past excesses — it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true. I don’t believe that. And, I don’t believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don’t agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.”
“Please tell me you’re Republicans.
  (to doctors preparing to operate after assassination attempt)
“These young Americans sent a message to terrorists everywhere. . . . You can run but you can’t hide.”
“Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.”
“You can’t tax business. Business doesn’t pay taxes. It collects taxes.”
“If there’s one observation that rings true in today’s changing world, it is that freedom and peace go hand in hand.”
“I’ve always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.”
“Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.”
“Facts are stupid things.”
“I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.”
“There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”
“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”
“Remember that every government service, every offer of government – financed security, is paid for in the loss of personal freedom… In the days to come, whenever a voice is raised telling you to let the government do it, analyze very carefully to see whether the suggested service is worth the personal freedom which you must forgo in return for such service. ”
“Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.”
“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual; that we will become that shining city on a hill.”
“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
“A picture is worth 1,000 denials.”
“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.”
“Since I came to the White House, I’ve gotten two hearing aids, had a colon operation, a prostate operation, skin cancer, and I’ve been shot…damn thing is, I’ve never felt better.”
“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order –or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path.”
“If history teaches anything, it teaches that self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.
Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we’ve never lost an astronaut in flight. We’ve never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we’ve forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.
For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we’re thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, “Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy.” They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.
We’ve grown used to wonders in this century. It’s hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We’ve grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we’ve only just begun. We’re still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.
And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s take-off. I know it’s hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.
I’ve always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don’t hide our space program. We don’t keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That’s the way freedom is, and we wouldn’t change it for a minute.
We’ll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.
I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: “Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it.”
There’s a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, “He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it.” Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake’s, complete.
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”
Thank you.”

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem. It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

“The future doesn’t belong to the faint of heart. It belongs to the brave.”
“If you think you can – you can!”
“Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal. It was Mussolini’s success in Italy, with his government-directed economy, that led the early New Dealers to say “But Mussolini keeps the trains running on time.”
“The miracle of life is given by One greater than ourselves, but once given, each life is ours to nurture and preserve, to foster, not only for today’s world but for a better one to come. There is no purpose more noble than for us to sustain and celebrate life in a turbulent world, and that is what we must do now. We have no higher duty, no greater cause as humans. Life and the preservation of freedom to live it in dignity is what we are on this Earth to do. Everything we work to achieve must seek that end so that some day our prime ministers, our premiers, our presidents, and our general secretaries will talk not of war and peace, but only of peace.”
“Here you discover that so long as books are kept open, then minds can never be closed.”
“Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way.
“I’m no linguist, but I have been told that in the Russian language, there isn’t even a word for freedom.”
“While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.”
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
“Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”
“Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root… Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that’s now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated.”
“I heard one presidential candidate say that what this country needed was a president for the nineties. I was set to run again. I thought he said a president in his nineties.”
“Let us not forget who we are. Drug abuse is a repudiation of everything America is.”
“I do not want to go back to the past; I want to go back to the past way of facing the future.”
“Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.”
“We do not deny any nation’s legitimate interest in security. But protecting the security of one nation by robbing another of its national independence and national traditions is not legitimate. In the long run, it is not even secure.”
“Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”
“Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.”
“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.
Happy Birthday, President Reagan!!
Quotations courtesy of goodreads.com.