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10 Most Inspiring Presidential Speeches

by David Giuliano
white house - famous presidential speeches

President’s Day is a day to honor the great men who have helped shape the nation we know today. Here are 10 famous Presidential speeches that remind us where we have come from as a nation, along with some words of wisdom spoken during troubled, tragic, and hopeful times.

Over the past 250 years our nation’s leaders have inherited great hardship, but with perseverance and unwavering faith in their country, the most inspirational Presidents have rallied us to push through tough times. Their undeniable presence and charisma illustrated in these famous Presidential speeches demonstrate their ability to get our country on its feet again.

In our current state of affairs, we can look to these great leaders for inspiration. It is easy to dwell on the doom and gloom of the nation and the economy, but we can also take this time to learn a valuable lesson from leaders past.


President JFK’s Inaugural Address

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”
~John F. Kennedy


President Lyndon Johnson’s Speech on Voting Rights

“What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
~Lyndon B. Johnson


President Ronald Reagan’s Speech Post-Space Shuttle Tragedy

“It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted, it belongs to the brave.”
~Ronald Reagan


President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Address

“…And we must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us. From our revolution to the civil war, to the great depression, to the civil right movement, our people have always mustered the determination to construct from these crisis the pillars of our history.”
~Bill Clinton


President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

“You and I, my fellow citizens, need to be strong in our faith that all nations under God will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the nations great goals.”
~Dwight Eisenhower


President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address: Yes, we can.

“I won’t stop. In fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days. But for now, whether you are young or whether you’re young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President, the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago. I’m asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.”
~Barack Obama

President George W. Bush’s Inaugural Address

“Americans are generous and strong and decent not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing no government program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it.”
~George W. Bush


President Jimmy Carter’s Address to the Nation 1979

“In closing, let me say this: I will do my best, but I will not do it alone. Let your voice be heard. Whenever you have a chance, say something good about our country. With God’s help and for the sake of our Nation, it is time for us to join hands in America. Let us commit ourselves together to a rebirth of the American spirit. Working together with our common faith we cannot fail.”
~Jimmy Carter


President George H.W. Bush’s Inaugural Address

“Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that. But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning. The new breeze blows, a page turns, the story unfolds. And so today a chapter begins, a small and stately story of unity, diversity, and generosity–shared, and written, together.”
~George H. W. Bush

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Address

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Featured photo by schindler_project

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