Quotes of the day- Adlai E. Stevenson II:
Stevenson II (February 5, 1900 – July 14, 1965) was an American
politician, noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent oratory, and
promotion of liberal causes in the Democratic Party. He served as the
31st Governor of Illinois, and received the Democratic Party's
nomination for president in 1952 and 1956; both times he was defeated by
Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. He sought the Democratic presidential
nomination for a third time in the election of 1960, but was defeated by
Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. After his election, President
Kennedy appointed Stevenson as the Ambassador to the United Nations; he
served from 1961 to 1965. He died on July 14, 1965 in London, England
after suffering a heart attack.
His most famous moment came on October 25, 1962, during the Cuban
missile crisis, when he gave a presentation at an emergency session of
the Security Council. He forcefully asked the Soviet representative,
Valerian Zorin, if his country was installing missiles in Cuba,
punctuated with the famous demand "Don't wait for the translation,
answer 'yes' or 'no'!" Following Zorin's refusal to answer the abrupt
question, Stevenson retorted, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until
Hell freezes over." In one of the most memorable moments in U.N.
history, Stevenson then showed photographs that proved the existence of
missiles in Cuba, just after the Soviet ambassador had implied they did
Stevenson was assaulted by an anti-United Nations protesters in Dallas,
Texas, on October 24, 1963, one month before the assassination of
Kennedy in that same city. A women struck him on the head with a sign,
and a man spat on him and on a policeman. Amid the furor, Stevenson said
of his assailants: "I don't want to send them to jail. I want to send
them to school." (Click
for full article.)
A beauty is a woman you notice. A charmer is one who notices you.
A diplomat's life is made up of three ingredients: protocol, Geritol and
A hungry man is not a free man.
A wise man does not try to hurry history. Many wars have been avoided by
patience and many have been precipitated by reckless haste.
Accuracy is to a newspaper what virtue is to a lady, except that a
newspaper can always print a retraction.
After four years at the United Nations I sometimes yearn for the peace
and tranquillity of a political convention.
All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. All
change is the result of a change in the contemporary state of mind.
America is a country that can choke on a gnat, or swallow tigers.
An Independent is someone who wants to take the politics out of politics.
Bad administration, to be sure, can destroy good policy; but good
administration can never save bad policy.
Do not... regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were
Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial
Every age needs men who will redeem the time by living with a vision of
the things that are to be.
Flattery is all right so long as you don't inhale.
Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means
nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have
no greater aim than a second car and another television set.
He who slings mud generally loses ground.
I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican
friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we
will stop telling the truth about them.
I have tried to talk about the issues in this campaign... But, strangely
enough, my friends, this road has been a lonely road because I never
meet anybody coming the other way.
I regret that I have but one law firm to give to my country.
Ignorance is stubborn and prejudice dies hard.
In America any boy may become President, and I suppose it's just one of
the risks he takes.
In matters of national security emotion is no substitute for
intelligence, nor rigidity for prudence. To act coolly, intelligently
and prudently in perilous circumstances is the test of a man- and also a
In quiet places, reason abounds.
It will be helpful in our mutual objective to allow every man in America
to look his neighbor in the face and see a man- not a color.
It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a
Laws are never as effective as habits.
Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that he sometimes has
to eat them.
Man has wrested from nature the power to make the world a desert or to
make deserts bloom. There is no evil in the atom; only in men's souls.
My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be
Nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including
Nixon is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then
mount the stump for a speech on conservation.
Nothing so dates a man as to decry the younger generation.
Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the
tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.
Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely.
Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to
faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost
faith in everything we fight and spend for.
Some people approach every problem with an open mouth.
The best reason I can think of for not running for President of the
United States is that you have to shave twice a day.
The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without
proving that you are unworthy of winning.
The human race has improved everything except the human race.
The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like
breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.
The important thing is not to believe your own propaganda.
The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear
the music of our own opinions.
The time to stop a revolution is at the beginning, not the end.
The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear
breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the bill of rights, to
freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak, of
There are worse things than losing an election; the worst thing is to
lose one's convictions and not tell the people the truth.
There is no evil in the atom, only in men's souls.
There is nothing more horrifying than stupidity in action.
There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it
happens to everybody.
They pick a President and then for four years they pick on him.
Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal
from the public purse.
To strike freedom of the mind with the fist of patriotism is an old an
True Patriotism, it seems to me, is based on tolerance and a large
measure of humility.
Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.
Unreason and anti-intellectualism abominate thought. Thinking implies
disagreement; and disagreement implies nonconformity; and nonconformity
implies heresy; and heresy implies disloyalty- so, obviously, thinking
must be stopped. But shouting is not a substitute for thinking and
reason is not the subversion but the salvation of freedom.
We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path
which has led to the present.
We have confused the free with the free and easy.
We inherited freedom. We seem unaware that freedom has to be remade and
re-earned in each generation of man.
We must never delude ourselves into thinking that physical power is a
substitute for moral power, which is the true sign of national greatness.
What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is, for the
most part, incommunicable.
When political ammunition runs low, inevitably the rusty artillery of
abuse is wheeled into action.
With the supermarket as our temple and the singing commercial as our
litany, are we likely to fire the world with an irresistible vision of
America's exalted purpose and inspiring way of life?
Words calculated to catch everyone may catch no one.
You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes him
You will find that truth is often unpopular and the contest between
agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the
vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news.
Adlai E. Stevenson II,
Quotes of the day
Older entries, Archives and Categories
Top of page
Like KGB Report on
and follow us on