31st President of the United States, Mining Engineer, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
"The moral and spiritual forces of our country do not lose ground in the hours we are busy on our jobs; their battle is the leisure time. We are organizing the production of leisure. We need better organization of its consumption."
"No public man can be a little crooked. There is no such thing as a no-man's-land between honesty and dishonesty."
"The glory of the nation rests in the character of her men. And character comes from boyhood. Thus every boy is a challenge to his elders."
"Wisdom consists not so much in knowing what to do in the ultimate as in knowing what to do next."
"Even if governmental conduct of business could give us more efficiency instead of less efficiency, the fundamental objection to it would remain unaltered and unabated. It would destroy political equality. It would increase rather than decrease abuse and corruption. It would stifle initiative and invention. It would undermine the development of leadership. It would cramp and cripple the mental and spiritual energies of our people. It would extinguish equality and opportunity. It would dry up the spirit of liberty and progress."
"You cannot extend the mastery of the government over the daily working life of a people without at the same time making it the master of the people’s souls and thoughts. Every expansion of government in business means that government in order to protect itself from the political consequences of its errors and wrongs is driven irresistibly without peace to greater and greater control of the nation’s press and platform. Free speech does not live many hours after free industry and free commerce die."
"Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body, the producers and consumers themselves."
"History is a story of growth, decay and change. If no provision, no allowance is made for change by peaceful means, it will come anyway - and with violence."
"It is just as important that business keep out of government as that government keep out of business. "
"Only a few rare souls in a century, to whose class I make no pretension, count much in the great flow of this Republic. The life stream of this nation is the generations of millions of human particles acting under the impulses of advancing ideas and national ideals gathered from a thousand springs... We are but transitory officials in government whose duty is to keep these channels clear and to strengthen and extend these dikes. What counts toward the honor of public officials is that they sustain the national ideals upon which are patterned the design of these channels of progress and the construction of these dikes of safety. "
"From their religious faith, the Founding Fathers enunciated the most fundamental law of human progress since the Sermon on the Mount, when they stated that man received from the Creator certain inalienable rights and that these rights should be protected from the encroachment of others by law and justice. "
"It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own."