Section 7 - The Famous Quotes
Fasttrack to America's Past
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The quotes, top to bottom:

1.  "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

   This is a line used by President Theodore Roosevelt to explain his approach to foreign policy in the early 1900s.  Roosevelt believed that America had an important role to play in world affairs.  He did not mind making a show of force to influence events, as he did in 1903 to win permission to build a canal across Panama.  But Roosevelt did not mean America should become a bully among nations.  The saying suggests instead that holding a big stick will help win respect that allows a nation to "speak softly."

2.  "And we won't come back 'till it's..."

   These words are from the most famous patriotic song of World War I.  They were written by George M. Cohan, who also wrote songs for Broadway.  The song "Over There" tells proudly that the Yanks (the Americans) "won't come back 'till it's over over there!" 
   The words and tune are a sharp contrast to the song many Americans were singing before 1917:  "I Didn't Raise My Boy to be a Soldier."

3.  "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"

   This is a famous line repeated throughout a sad song that tells the fate of many Americans in the Great Depression of the 1930s.  As the  go-go decade of the 1920s ended, the stock market crashed, throwing millions of people out of work.  Unemployment hit 25 percent, at a time when few government programs existed to provide relief or help.

4.  "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to..."

   As Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1932, he included this line in his acceptance speech.  The phrase "New Deal" became the name for his package of proposals to end the Great Depression and give help to the unemployed.

5.  "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date..."

   These are the famous words Americans heard from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, an American naval base in the Hawaiian Islands.  In response to the attack, America entered World War II.

The pictures, top to bottom:

1.  A drawing of the Wright brothers' first airplane.  In 1903, they flew the world's first heavier than air flying machine from the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  The site was chosen for its steady wind and isolated location.

2.  A scene in a factory around 1920.  Labor unions and other reform efforts were already making some progress toward improving the lives of workers.  The struggle for modern work place laws, however, would continue through the 1930s and beyond.

3.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Democrat elected president in 1932 on a promise to give Americans a "New Deal" and a way out of the Great Depression.  His confident style of leadership helped hold Americans together as the economic crisis of the 1930s gave way to the challenges of World War II.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright 2015 by David Burns.  All rights reserved.  Illustrations and reading selections appearing in this work are taken from sources in the public domain and from private collections used by permission.  Sources include: the Dover Pictorial Archive, the Library of Congress, The National Archives, The Hart Publishing Co., Corel Corporation and its licensors, Nova Development Corporation and its licensors, and others.  Maps were created or adapted by the author using reference maps from the United States Geological Survey and Cartesia Software.  Please see the home page for this title for more information.