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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7k 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.” ― ...
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3answers
1k views

Is this Brzezinski quote real?

Various Russian websites attribute to Brzezinski the following quote: The new world order under U.S. hegemony was created against Russia at the expense of Russia and on the ruins of Russia. I am ...
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3answers
700 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
2
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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2answers
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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,...
4
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1answer
234 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; ...
4
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1answer
7k 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. ...
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2answers
375 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
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2answers
424 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 ...
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2answers
707 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: ...
2
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1answer
887 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'...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
192 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 ...
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4answers
51k 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) ...
6
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1answer
680 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 ...
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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 ...
6
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1answer
2k 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 ...
12
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1answer
4k views

“No sane man will dance.”? When / where / about-what did Cicero say this?

I hate quotes out of context, even great lines like "No sane man will dance." -- which was allegedly uttered by Cicero. But every time the quote is used, context is omitted. Was Cicero really ...
2
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1answer
794 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 ...
6
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1answer
8k 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 ...
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2answers
258 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 ...
8
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2answers
930 views

Did Franco really ask “Why? Are they going somewhere?”

The story goes that Franco on his deathbed in 1975 hears the noise of a crowd outside and asks what it is. And is told: "The people of Spain have come to say goodbye" Franco replies: "Why? Are ...
36
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3answers
153k views

Did Rothschild say this famous quote? If yes, what did he mean by it?

"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws" — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild This prominent international banker is commonly quoted this. First, did he actually say it? ...
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2answers
24k 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, ...
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2answers
600 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, ...
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1answer
2k views

Did any historically known figure produce such a quote?

I ran into a quote (or a paraphrase) in a book that I couldn't ever attribute: A state that is not able to feed itself and is dependent on food imports cannot be considered a formidable foe. While ...
6
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2answers
288 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
334 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 ...
10
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1answer
5k 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
4k 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
45k 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 ...
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2answers
3k views

Did Theodore Roosevelt ever say the “things that will destroy America” quote?

The fullest form of the quote I have been able to find online is from thinkexist.com and goes as follows: Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood—...
15
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1answer
2k views

Is “Friends, Romans, …” a historical speech?

While searching for a canonical translation to my language of the phrase Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears I was surprised to find reference to it only in the Shakespeare play. As the ...
15
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2answers
3k views

Did Jefferson really say this quote about patriotism?

Who said this quote? Patriotism is not a short frenzied burst of emotion, but the long and steady dedication of a lifetime. I've seen some sources claiming it was Thomas Jefferson and others ...
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1answer
13k views

Who said “Lafayette we are here!”? [closed]

My sister has been saying this quote for about a month and says it has historical significance. After searching I can't find anything. What famous person said "Lafayette we are here!"?
11
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1answer
624 views

What is the source of this quote about Demosthenes by Philip II of Macedon?

I've read that Philip II of Macedon said that if he had listened to Demosthenes, he would have declared war on himself. Ref. (it's an old book, and in Spanish): Historia de la literatura griega, 2, ...

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