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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 origin of the quote "Educated individuals are good for all of society." [closed]

In this video by Babylon Bee (at 1:16), the lady claims that either Che Guevara or Karl Marx said something along the lines of "Educated individuals are good for all of society.". Is that ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
151 views

What did Abraham Lincoln say that may have led to General MacArthur's quote? [closed]

I encountered this quote that I would have liked to use, "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to ...
Rick Smith's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
174 views

What is the history of "Translation is like a woman" quote?

Modern quote I am looking for the history of the [derogatory] quote: Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful. It is ...
Moritz's user avatar
  • 779
2 votes
1 answer
175 views

When was Joseph Alsop article 'Another Hitler-Time?' published in the Washington Post?

When was Joseph Alsop article 'Another Hitler-Time?' first published in the Washington Post? The Washington Post archives doesn't seem to contain this article. This article contains, the supposed, ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 9,724
6 votes
0 answers
459 views

Did the famous French privateer Surcouf really drop that epic zinger on an anonymous British officer?

It is said that when a British captive officer taunted Surcouf with the words "You French fight for money while we fight for honour", Surcouf replied "Each of us fights for what he ...
Qwokker's user avatar
  • 161
2 votes
0 answers
138 views

Did Harold Pinter create this "old story about Oliver Cromwell"?

House of Commons Speech - October 2002 There's an old story about Oliver Cromwell. After he had taken the town of Drogheda the citizens were brought to the main square. Cromwell announced to his ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
197 views

With money we will get men, said Cæsar, and with men we will get money

In Notes on Virginia, Jefferson wrote: With money we will get men, said Cæsar, and with men we will get money. I'm interested in where this was sourced. I don't expect that Jefferson was quoting or ...
Charles's user avatar
  • 1,055
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

Who said, "Freedom to do what?"

I read a quote recently, it was either Lenin or Stalin, one of their aides said, "Now, comrade, we will have freedom!" and Lenin (or Stalin) replied, "Freedom to do what?" The ...
CigarDoug's user avatar
  • 249
5 votes
1 answer
409 views

Did the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm IV. (1795 - 1861) ever write: "Das Volk ist mir zum Kotzen" = "The people makes me sick"?

Where does the Prussian king write "Das Volk ist mir zum Kotzen" = "The people makes me sick," as claimed in 6:26 in Die Revolution von 1848 I musstewissen Geschichte? The video ...
ETathome's user avatar
  • 181
23 votes
1 answer
4k views

Where does Lincoln say the South wants us to believe as they believe?

I can no longer find this article or speech, written by Lincoln in which he says argues that the North had done everything in its power to accommodate the South, but the South was still not appeased ...
user254694's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
380 views

What is the original provenance of Lincoln's "of the people, by the people, for the people" and why is Wikipedia so confused?

I was curious about the provenance of Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address proclamation regarding government "of the people, by the people, for the people", so I looked it up on ...
Lieutenant Zipp's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
357 views

What is the origin of the expression "I'm the culture they're dying for"?

There is an anecdote about a young man (a poet) being berated by an older woman during WWI where she asks him if he is not ashamed of letting all those other young men die to protect their culture, to ...
user254694's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
543 views

When did Walter Benjamin say "We collect books in the belief that we are preserving them when in fact it is the books that preserve their collector"?

In for instance this source, it is stated that Walter Benjamin once said or wrote the following: "We collect books in the belief that we are preserving them when in fact it is the books that ...
Max Muller's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
235 views

Which American Civil War admiral said he would not punish people for getting their ship close to the enemy?

I recall reading an anecdote (it was definitely in Civil War: a History by Shelby Foote, but I don't remember exactly which volume; I believe that it occurred during the Vicksburg campaign in the ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Did Martin Luther ever say "The prosperity of a country depends ... "?

Did Martin Luther ever say these quotes? If he did, then since he didn't speak English, what were his original words. Is this translation correct (close enough)? The prosperity of a country depends, ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
256 views

Was this anecdote about the bad effects of military secrecy told by Colin Powell?

I found the following anecdote in some business notes from years ago: Colin Powell tells a story from his Vietnam War experiences. An Army outpost was stationed in a very vulnerable location, but the ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
433 views

Does the ending of "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing sound reasonable?

The news about scientists have found Endurance prompts me to ask this question otherwise I have always seen it as some minor details that few people will have an interest in. I think it is safe to say ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
392 views

During the Allied invasion of Sicily, when were 400 soldiers killed due to a sentry sleeping on the job?

In Patton's speech to the Third Army, he refers to an incident in Sicily where 400 men died because a sentry was caught sleeping on the job: There are four hundred neatly marked graves in Sicily, all ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 8,541
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Who said this quote about assimilation?

I remember when I was in school, a teacher told us about a famous quote in American History, something along the lines of : "In the 20th century, the negro will be integrated and not assimilated&...
stats_noob's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
388 views

What were Lord Macartney's original words about Chinese under the Qianlong Emperor's brutal regime in 18th century?

This is a follow-up question of Where can I find modern account of Macartney Embassy to China (1792–1794)? After Lord Macartney returned from his mission to the Qianlong Emperor, he made a poignant ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

Did Lord Acton ever say "freedom faces four major challenges"?

I read a Chinese article that quoted a passage purported to be from Lord Acton, describing how "freedom faces four major challenges". The original Chinese states: 每个时代,自由都会面临着四大挑战: ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
290 views

What is the source of this quote about hope and POWs?

I seem to recall someone who was a POW, possibly held by Japanese, saying something like that the people that survived were the ones that gave up hope of getting out and the people that died were the ...
Mat Kay's user avatar
  • 157
27 votes
2 answers
7k views

Who said "If I want the opinion of the middle classes, I'll ask Her Majesty"?

The notion that the British royal family are not necessarily at the apex of British society in terms of good breeding, sophistication or taste, is an old one. I'm sure that I once read a piece that ...
tea-and-cake's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
324 views

Where does this quote come from?

Emperor Menelik II's wikipedia page quotes him as saying "There was never a time when united that the Ethiopians lost to an enemy in history". I am unable to find anywhere on the internet ...
Giraffeshavelongnecks's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
253 views

What was meant by "Palestine is not Rhodesia"?

While reading about the Israel/Palestine conflict, I found this 1927 statement by Chaim Weizmann (emphasis mine): Palestine must be built up without violating the legitimate interests of the Arabs ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 109
1 vote
0 answers
155 views

Was there something in Lord Palmerston's career that made him associated with temporary appointments becoming permanent?

While researching the quote "nothing more permanent than something temporary", I stumbled upon this quote from the "Royal United Service Institution Journal" from 1888: I fear ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 4,281
1 vote
3 answers
8k views

Do we know if Patton ever said "l'audace l'audace toujours l'audace"?

Do we know if George S. Patton said that even though George C. Scott quoted Frederick the Great in the movie? If Patton did, what does the quote actually mean in the situation? Related question
Kav's user avatar
  • 153
-2 votes
2 answers
929 views

What did Douglas MacArthur mean by "In war, there is no substitute for victory?" [closed]

What does this quote mean? I didn't think it made much sense, since diplomacy exists and no country is unbeatable.
The New Kid and his DeLorean's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the meaning of George S Patton's quote "Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more?" [closed]

George S Patton said that "Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more." What doe this mean?
Jacob's user avatar
  • 11
5 votes
2 answers
461 views

Who said "against the soul, lies; against the body, violence" and where?

First of all apologies if there is one community site more appropriate for this. I have been reading today on a lot of Spanish right wing sites a quote attributed to Lenin: "Contra las almas la ...
Flamma's user avatar
  • 167
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did Hitler actually say "Millionen stehen hinter mir."?

There is a fairly famous poster made by John Heartfield in 1932 depicting Adolf Hitler with the quote "Millionen stehen hinter mir.", which is a pun that might be roughly translated as "...
Jacques Bardot's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

Who originally said, "The most segregated hour . . ."

There is a video on YouTube where MLK says '... at 11 o'clock in Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours, if not the most segregated hours, in Christian America.' in 1960 but in the ...
furkanakkurt1664's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
8k views

Did Benjamin Franklin say "Holland is not a nation but a shop"? Why?

Several letter-writers to (serious) Dutch newspapers have quoted Benjamin Franklin as having said: "Holland is not a nation but a shop". Why did Franklin say this (if he did)? Google finds ...
NL_Derek's user avatar
  • 291
3 votes
0 answers
92 views

Is there a story about Benjamin Franklin inviting a business competitor into his home to show how meager he is willing to live in order to win?

All my life I have had this distinct memory of writing a paper on Benjamin Franklin back in grade school, and a story where he had brought some business competitor of his into his home and showed him ...
Nicholas Franceschina's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the oldest quote or poem in known history?

What is the oldest quote, poem, words of wisdom ever written in known history? I'm guessing it's Kemetian or Babylonian. I've read some on the internet that I know from memory but cannot verify them, ...
Samid's user avatar
  • 2,192
0 votes
1 answer
169 views

What is the source of this quote from Luke Howard?

In a book on the history of data visualization, we say: As late as 1844, Luke Howard [1772– 1864], sometimes called the “father of meteorology”, apologized for his methodology and referred to it as an ...
user101089's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
330 views

What U.S. President said “It's fiction, stupid!”?

In the epilogue to his final book in the “Space Odyssey” saga: 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997), Arthur C. Clarke writes: And if any readers of the earlier books feel disoriented by such transmutations,...
NKCampbell's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a term for the principle of preferring earlier statements over later statements made by historical eye witnesses?

Back when I was majoring in History in college, one professor explained to the class that when a person made multiple statements about a time or event they lived through or were involved with, and ...
ruffdove's user avatar
  • 319
2 votes
0 answers
149 views

What is the oldest example of complaints against wealth being due to closeness to the ruler?

Consider the sentence “The king is the one at whose side wealth walks”. It is taken from the Babylonian Theodicy, a poem which was written somewhere between 1500 B.C. and 1100 B.C. and which is ...
José Carlos Santos's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the source of "the three most useless things in the world are the Great Wall, Pyramids, and the Yamato"?

I watched 'Naval Legends: Yamato' yesterday, and it included a phrase that was attributed to the crew of the ship: "The world's three most useless things are the Chinese Great Wall, Egyptian ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
29 votes
1 answer
10k views

Who said: "Armies prepare to fight their last war, rather than their next war"?

There is a famous quote which I've seen phrased in several different ways. "Armies prepare to fight their last war, rather than their next war" "Generals prepare to fight their father'...
user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
169 views

Which historic figure does William Bolitho refer to with "The greatest adventurer that ever lived ended as a nervous, banal millionaire"? [closed]

Context: It was said in 12 Against the Gods which was published in 1929.
Amused's user avatar
  • 1
12 votes
5 answers
18k views

Who first said "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."?

I was trying to remember the origination of the phrase "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." I'm aware president John F. Kennedy famously said it, but I ...
kackle123's user avatar
  • 231
7 votes
1 answer
725 views

Which early Imperial Roman writer said this about grains?

I definitively although vaguely recall a quote by a (first century AD?) Roman that asserts more or less that civilised Romans use wheat in baking, whereas Germans/Celts (I forget which) would use rye (...
Noldorin's user avatar
  • 5,132
2 votes
0 answers
130 views

Is there a real quote to the effect of "The development of man resembles the development of society . . . "?

There is a saying, I heard from my father a long time ago, that the development of man resembles the development of society: the infant resembles the Renaissance, the young person corresponds to the ...
Mikael Jensen's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

Where did Otto von Bismarck say "lying awake all night, hating"?

I am trying to identify a reference for a quote attributed to Otto von Bismarck. From tagesspiegel.de: "Politik braucht mehr Prosa und weniger Poesie": "Wie enorm der Druck der Widerstände auf ihm [...
Maurits Evers's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the original German version of Bismarck's phrase about intentions and capabilities?

Update: It turns out that even Russia's president Vladimir Putin himself quoted Bismarck as saying that phrase! (Source1, Source2). It thus seems unlikely to be a made-up quotation, because it is ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 701
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Who said "one can be a powerful king with a very small sceptre"?

Anne McElvoy, senior editor at the Economist, wrote the following in a recent column: As a mistress of Louis XIV waspishly remarked, one can be a powerful king with a very small sceptre. The quote ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
128 views

Who said "Anything a machine can do, a machine should do"?

Alternately, "anything that can be done by a machine, should be done by a machine". I have heard variants of these quotes attributed to Brigham Young, but I have not been able to find any reliable ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
26 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is the context for Napoleon's quote "[the Austrians] did not know the value of five minutes"?

Is this a real quote from Napoleon, and if so, what is the context? “The reason I beat the Austrians is, they did not know the value of five minutes.” Found on many 'quotes' sites like azquotes
Umm's user avatar
  • 261