Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” quote

      On May 17, 2012, Republican presidential candidate, Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), said something that was later cited as one of the factors that caused him to lose the election…

“Power without responsibility – the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.”

In the decades before World War II, Stanley Baldwin was one of the most powerful politicians in the United Kingdom. He was the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party from 1923…

March 4th: a good day for famous presidential quotes – until 1933…

The date for the United States presidential inauguration was not specified in the original U.S. Constitution. In 1788, the Continental Congress set Inauguration Day as March 4. Then, in 1933,…

“O Liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name!”

In 1781, a young French woman named Marie-Jeanne Philippon married wealthy businessman Jean-Marie Roland, thus becoming known as Madame Roland. Madame Roland and her husband were early supporters of the…

As Maine goes, so goes: (a) the nation (b) Vermont . . .

In the November 1936 presidential election, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was reelected for a second term in a landslide victory over his Republican opponent, Kansas Governor Alf Landon. Roosevelt received…

“Facts are stubborn things…”

In the years leading up to the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, the rebel-rousing Sons of Liberty used an engraving of what they called “The Boston Massacre” to…

“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

On July 16, 1964, at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater uttered his most remembered quotation in his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination: “Extremism…

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

The quote “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is often mistakenly attributed to the Irish lawyer and politician John Philpot Curran and frequently to Thomas Jefferson. In fact, Curran’s…

“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

In many books of quotations and on thousands of websites H.L. Mencken is credited with the famous quote “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”…

The story behind the phrase “The Year of Living Dangerously”

Google has a cool tool for researchers of words and phrases (including quotations) called the Ngram Viewer. It graphs the occurrence of a word or phrase in books published between…