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When asked what State he hails from,
Our sole reply shall be,
He comes from Appomattox
And its famous apple tree.
- Charles Graham Halpine (used pseudonym Miles O'Reilly),
Poem quoted by Roscoe Conkling
The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast;
And the woods against a stormy sky,
Their giant branches toss'd.
- Mrs. Felicia D. Hemans,
Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers
Hail, Columbia! happy land!
Hail, ye heroes! heaven-born band!
Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause.
- Joseph Hopkinson, Hail, Columbia!
We must do our duty and convince the world that we are just friends and brave enemies.
- Thomas Jefferson
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . .
- Thomas Jefferson,
Declaration of Independence of the United States of America,
America is not merely a nation but a nation of nations.
- Lyndon Baines Johnson
The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
America is a tune. It must be sung together.
- Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds
(bk. V, pt. III, ch. XII)
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate--we cannot consecrate--we cannot hallow--this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us,--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
Sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Building of the Ship (l. 367)
Down to the Plymouth rock, that had been to their feat as a doorstep
Into a world unknown,--the corner-stone of a nation!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Courtship of Miles Standish
(pt. V, st. 2)
Earth's biggest Country's gut her soul
An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation.
- James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers
(second series, no. 7, st. 21)
Nothing is wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn't cure.
- Ross MacDonald (pseudonym of Kenneth Millar)
Our fundamental ideals, our way of life, our pluralistic society--one of a kind on the face of the Earth and unique to the history of mankind--produces an environment that invites thought.
- Leo Melamed,
in a commencement address at DePaul University, June 12, 2005
E pluribus unum. [From many, one.]
- Motto, of the United States of America
Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.
- Lewis Mumford
America is a fortunate country. She grows by the follies of our European nations.
- Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I)
Give it only the fulcrum of Plymouth Rock, an idea will upheave the continent.
- Wendell Phillips, in a speech at New York
Neither do I acknowledge the right of Plymouth to the whole rock. No, the rock underlies all America: it only crops out here.
- Wendell Phillips,
in a speech at the dinner of the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth
We don't have to turn to our history books for heroes. They're all around us. Don't let anyone tell that America's best days are behind her that the American spirit has been vanquished. We've seen it triumph too often in our lives to stop believing in it now.
- Ronald Reagan
America invents everything, but the trouble is we get tired of it the minute the new is wore off.
- Will Rogers
On account of us being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.
- Will Rogers
We can get hot and bothered quicker over nothing, and cool off faster than any nation in the world.
- Will Rogers
I tell the American people solemnly that the United States will never survive as a happy and fertile oasis of liberty surrounded by a cruel desert of dictatorship.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
in his 1941 Independence Day Broadcast
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