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Questions tagged [quotes]

This tag should be used for questions about someone's words and its context, reasons, origin, authenticity or purpose. It can also be used for the motives behind use of somebody's words by somebody else, e.g. "why did Smith quote Jones?"

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What is the source for this quote from the French Revolution?

I have read that, during the French Revolution, a Girondin once said about Marat: "give this man a glass of blood, he is thirsty!" Is there a source for this?
0
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0answers
80 views

Source for an alleged saying of Lenin

I have seen a certain phrase being attributed to Lenin repeatedly, but never with a source. The phrase is "Accuse them of doing what you do, of being who you are". It is supposed to be some cunning ...
2
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1answer
93 views

Quote on chemistry - who is the author? [closed]

I have seen this quote often: Chemistry is like cooking - just don't lick the spoon Sometimes in the version of a parenthesis around the latter part to give it it's sub-humoristic meaning. Often ...
-3
votes
1answer
268 views

What were the last words of Charles the First, and Oliver Cromwell's response after his execution?

I need to know what Charles the First's last words were and preferably what Oliver Cromwell said afterwards.
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What is the source of this Ambedkar quote on freedom of thought in Hinduism?

From here, the Indian social reformer B. R. Ambedkar is supposed to have said: In the Hindu religion, one can[not] have freedom of speech. A Hindu must surrender his freedom of speech. He must act ...
6
votes
1answer
166 views

What's the history of the source of the slogan “power to the people”?

I can't find any detailed information on this phrase from a reasonable amount of internet searching. The current version of the wikipedia article about this slogan is light on details and very ...
3
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2answers
600 views

Is this a true quote of Engels about vague Russian leaders and their vague followers?

In the recent movie "The Young Karl Marx", Engels refers to Russian communist leaders being confused and finding confused followers. Is this a true quote and if yes, whom did he mean?
17
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2answers
3k views

Which version of Napoleon's “Europe is a Molehill” quote is correct?

Regarding Napoleon's Molehill quote, the version I have always heard is: Europe is a molehill. It has never had any great empires, like those of the Orient, numbering six hundred million souls. I ...
3
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0answers
52 views

Source of quote attributed to Kanō Jigorō: “It is not important to be better than someone else, but to be better than yesterday.”

Question This quote: It is not important to be better than someone else, but to be better than yesterday. is frequently attributed to the founder of Judo, Kanō Jigorō, but I could find no ...
14
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1answer
2k views

What is the source for this Goering quote on radar?

On page 194 of Jonathan Trigg's The Defeat of the Luftwaffe, he claims Hermann Goering said: I have frequently taken a look inside such sets. It does not look all that imposing, just some wires ...
5
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1answer
3k views

Source of the Napoleon “God/Devil/immortal” quote

I heard in a history lecture (I don't know who the lecturer was) the following quote about Napoleon: Some say he's God (an angel?), some say he's the Devil, but everyone agrees he isn't mortal. ...
18
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1answer
1k views

Source of quote attributed to Florence Nightingale: To understand God's thoughts we must study statistics

This is another classic quotation in the history of statistics, attributed to Florence Nightingale: To understand God's thoughts we must study statistics, for these are the measure of his purpose....
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1answer
125 views

Source of quote attributed to Cesar Chavez: “You are never strong enough that you don't need help.”

You are never strong enough that you don't need help. Does anybody know when, where, or in what context Cesar Chavez said this quote? Some Google searching implies that he said it, but none of the ...
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2answers
6k views

Source of quote attributed to W.E.B. Du Bois: “When you have mastered numbers…”

I'm working on a history of data visualization in which some works from the 1900 “Exhibit of American Negroes” at the Paris World Fair (the Exposition Universelle Internationale) are featured. A nice ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Churchill's words about war escaping - any reference in his biography or memoir?

In Russia some citation of Churchill's words is mentioned, that I can roughly translate to English as: The most wars in history were escaped due to just putting them off. Have you seen anything ...
7
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3answers
486 views

What was the context of Queen Juliana's “I can't understand it” quote?

I came across a quotation in that piqued my interest. I can't understand it. I can't even understand the people who can understand it. — Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. I'd like to know ...
10
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1answer
3k views

Did Sir Isaac Newton ever claim that his mind in 1666 was “remarkably fit for invention”?

This is a passage from Leon Lederman and Dick Teresi's The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?. Most Newtonian scholars agree that he believed in a particle-like ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Did Julius Caesar say: “Africa, I have grabbed you”?

Someone once told me that when Julius Caesar stepped off the boat onto the North African shore, he tripped and landed flat on his face, to which he then said (in an amazing comeback to onlookers ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

What did Thomas Jefferson say about “what I say now is only valid now; I can change my thoughts?”

I've been looking for a Jefferson quote I found some time ago. I've not been able to find it. Jefferson was apparently explaining that he could change his mind: What I say now is only valid now; ...
0
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2answers
287 views

Where Are The Jane Fonda's Of Yesteryear? [closed]

Not long ago, New Orleans removed a well-known statue of Robert E. Lee that stood high on a pedestal in the middle of Lee Circle. That’s one of many recent examples of communities removing monuments ...
2
votes
2answers
243 views

What was so “hot” about hot cakes?

The phrase "sell like hot cakes" is a simile for how quick something is selling. That said, the meaning of "hot cake" is apparently a synonym of pancakes, or before pancakes, corn griddle cake and ...
2
votes
1answer
512 views

Louis XIV of France, “L'État, c'est moi”, and the royal 'we' [closed]

(Maybe should be in the French Language community instead.) Louis XIV famously allegedly said "L'État, c'est moi". But wouldn't he (at least hypothetically) have used the royal 'we', i.e., "L'État, c'...
0
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1answer
160 views

Cannot find source of quote

I have a quote in my commonplace book attributed to Aristotle but I cannot find the source. Googling the quote verbatim or substrings of it has not turned up neither the quote itself nor any variation ...
15
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4answers
3k views

What did Hitler mean with the following statement about Franco?

The following was quoted in Albert Speer's diary entry for 26 December 1950 recalling a conversation with Hitler in January 1943 (Albert Speer, Spandau: The Secret Diary (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, ...
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4answers
23k views

Did any leader say “We may have lost the battle, but not the war”?

I'm wondering if any leader from any era said the phrase "We may have lost the battle, but not the war" that can be backed up with reputable sources. The meaning of the phrase (by my interpretation) ...
3
votes
1answer
521 views

Which of these quotes are actually Einstein's (if any)?

Two very similar-sounding quotes have come to my ear, both supposedly said by Albert Einstein. The first quote is: “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” ― ...
6
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1answer
255 views

How do I prove that Mahatma Gandhi said the following?

We may know by means of a simple Google search that Gandhi said the following: “It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover ...
2
votes
1answer
618 views

Need song or quote from Christmas Truce of 1914

I need an emblematic, inspiring, not-too-long quote or image from the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914. It should be historically accurate, but (in an appropriate context) it should be fairly easy ...
19
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3answers
4k views

Pre-war comments on Hitler: Just figures of speech, he doesn't really mean it, just a way to whip up supporters?

I've got to this interview with a historian about the pre-war mood between the American reporters and one with that especially impressed me was the quote that some sources used as a this year's US ...
1
vote
1answer
389 views

Did Napoleon Bonaparte say “Power lies in the essence of power.”?

I used to love to read about Napoleon Bonaparte when I was younger, I read some books and watched documentaries about his life, etc. I recently started to dig out some old stuff and started ...
11
votes
2answers
555 views

What did Ben Franklin mean when he said “The sun of liberty is set; you must light up the candle of industry & economy”?

The sun of liberty is set; you must light up the candle of industry and economy. I've seen this quote in various places, cited simply as "a correspondence". Looking for more context, I only find: ...
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1answer
2k views

Abraham Lincoln Quote Background

I recently ran across a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother" I was wondering what the context of this quote is. Specifically was he speaking ...
18
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5answers
1k views

What is the oldest authentic example of people complaining about modern times and the young?

There are quotes, attributed to a king of Mesopotamia, and to Socrates and Hesiod, about how lazy the youth are, and how things were better when they were kids. Unfortunately, the veracity of the ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Where did Metternich say the Balkans began?

Statesman and politician of Austrian Empire, Klemens von Metternich made somewhere his famous remark that "Balkan already begins on some road south from Vienna". Does anybody knows where was that road,...
6
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0answers
722 views

Did Amadeo Bordiga tell off Stalin this way?

I read somewhere that Amadeo Bordiga, Italian Communist, said something along these lines to Stalin's face: If the Soviet Union is the homeland of all proletarians and the revolution, then let it ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

McCarthy's speech: Where is “When a great democracy is destroyed…” from?

During the Wheeling speech in 1950, McCarthy said : As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but ...
9
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2answers
5k views

Did Diderot say “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”?

The following quote is often attributed to Diderot - co-founder of the Encyclopédie and one of the most notable figures during the Enlightenment: Men will never be free until the last king is ...
2
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2answers
162 views

Looking for Cato quotes/anecdotes

I'm trying to find/confirm two anecdotes about (I think) Cato (not sure which, Elder or Younger). They both refer to being modest in the face of one's own greatness. The first has Cato being asked ...
4
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1answer
4k views

Did Einstein really say this quote about time?

This quote is commonly attributed to Albert Einstein: The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. However, there are many cases of quotes misattributed to Einstein. ...
8
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2answers
14k views

What was the context of this famous Genghis Khan quote?

It is often quoted that Genghis Khan said: The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, ...
0
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2answers
328 views

“Save for the wild force of Nature, nothing moves in this world that is not Greek in its origin.” [closed]

[Source:] Save for the wild force of Nature, nothing moves in this world that is not Greek in its origin. Would someone please explain the history behind Baron Acton's quote above? For instance, ...
17
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3answers
7k views

What did Richelieu mean by his “six lines” quote?

Cardinal Richelieu is frequently quoted as saying, If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him. What I've never seen ...
6
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2answers
237 views

When and why did Erasmus ask whether the Pope would govern the east better than the Turk?

Owen Chadwick says in The Reformation: The European powers were more frightened of each other than of the Turk. A certain scepticism began to appear; Erasmus asked cynically whether if a crusade ...
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1answer
2k views

Who said, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words”?

I saw the following quote: "Watch your thoughts, They become your words; Watch your words, They become your deeds; Watch your deeds, They become your habits; Watch your habits, They become your ...
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1answer
242 views

When did Phintys say “A woman's particular virtue is modesty . . .”? [closed]

I recently came across an interesting quote in a book I was reading. Here's the excerpt from the book: "A woman's particular virtue is modesty (σωφοσυνη), for by it she is enabled to honor and love ...
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1answer
1k views

Did De Gaulle really say “I am France” (Je suis la France)?

My great grandpa always told me WWII stories and he always told me De Gaulle said that, however, I can't find any reliable source for it. I have a book stating that supposedly he wrote that in a ...
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1answer
4k views

Did Goebbels really say “Truth is the enemy of the state”? If so, when?

One of the most famous so-called quotation attributed to Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels is: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the origin of “With an iron fist, we will drive humanity to happiness?”

What is the origin and context of the Marxist/Leninist quote "With an iron fist, we will drive humanity to happiness?" Rather than just the name of the author, some background would be helpful. For ...
11
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1answer
36k views

Did JFK really say “Hitler is one of the greatest men…one of the most significant figures that ever lived”? [closed]

¿Did JFK really say: Hitler is one of the greatest men, the old trust him, the young idolize him. It is the worship of a national hero who has served his country.…Within a few years, Adolf Hitler ...
2
votes
1answer
487 views

Wendell Phillips Quote that “Revolutions Never Go Backwards”

What did Wendell Phillips mean when he said, "Revolutions never go backwards."? I believe that Abraham Lincoln also used this quote as a means of promoting the Republican Party and anti-slavery ...