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History quotes, History Sayings – Quotations about History #HistoryQuotes. Find and save ideas about historians, historical record-keeping on top quotes

A history in which every particular incident may be true may on the whole be false. Thomas Babington Macaulay

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters. African Proverb

The memories of men are too frail a thread to hang history from.  John Still, The Jungle Tide

Professor Johnston often said that if you didn’t know history, you didn’t know anything. You were a leaf that didn’t know it was part of a tree.  Michael Crichton, Timeline

We used to root for the Indians against the cavalry, because we didn’t think it was fair in the history books that when the cavalry won it was a great victory, and when the Indians won it was a massacre.  Dick Gregory





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History is herstory, too. Author Unknown

Happy the people whose annals are blank in history-books.  Thomas Carlyle, Life of Frederick the Great

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We are not makers of history. We are made by history. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. Robert Fulghum

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. George Washington

People think too historically. They are always living half in a cemetery.  Aristide Briand

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People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.  James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

How these curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellows as I am put them down!  John Aubrey (1626–1697), Lives of Eminent Men  [spelling modernized —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers.  Joe Murray, “History updates current events,” Spartanburg Herald-Journal, May 10th 1992

History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.  Winston Churchill

Histories are a kind of distilled newspapers.  Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship

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Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history. George Orwell

History teaches us that unity is strength, and cautions us to submerge and overcome our differences in the quest for common goals, to strive, with all our combined strength, for the path to true African brotherhood and unity. Haile Selassie

If you think you have it tough, read history books.  Bill Maher

I don’t think I’m morbid by nature. Serious writers have always written about serious subjects. Lighthearted material doesn’t appeal to me, and I don’t read it. I think I’m a realist, with a realistic sensibility of history and the tragedy of history. Joyce Carol Oates

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History never looks like history when you are living through it.  John W. Gardner

Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.  H.L. Mencken

God cannot alter the past, though historians can. Samuel Butler, “Prose Observations”

History is the sum total of the things that could have been avoided.  Konrad Adenauer

A historian is often only a journalist facing backwards.  Karl Kraus, translated from German by Harry Zohn





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A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Marcus Garvey

You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own. Michelle Obama

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. Thomas Jefferson

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Too many historical writers are the votaries of cults, which, by definition are dedicated to whitewashing warts and hanging halos.  Thomas A. Bailey

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A million thanks to Steve for sharing some of his fantastic collection with me!

History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man.  Percy Bysshe Shelley

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.  Pearl Buck

History is philosophy teaching by examples.  Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

If an historian were to relate truthfully all the crimes, weaknesses and disorders of mankind, his readers would take his work for satire rather than for history.  Pierre Bayle, Historical and Critical Dictionary

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History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. Karl Marx

There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made. Michelle Obama

You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise. Maya Angelou

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. Martin Luther King, Jr.

More history’s made by secret handshakes than by battles, bills, and proclamations.  John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor

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History is a mighty dramos, enacted upon the theatre of times, with suns for lamps and eternity for a background.  Thomas Carlyle

History is a novel for which the people is the author.  Alfred de Vigny, Réflexions sur la Vérité dans l’Art

History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity.  Dexter Perkins

History was a trash bag of random coincidences torn open in a wind. Surely, Watt with his steam engine, Faraday with his electric motor, and Edison with his incandescent light bulb did not have it as their goal to contribute to a fuel shortage some day that would place their countries at the mercy of Arab oil.  Joseph Heller, Good as Gold

In the Cornell Library of 40,000 volumes there are no novels. There is, however, plenty of fiction in the histories and philosophies.  Mary Wilson Little, Reveries of a Paragrapher, 1897



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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. Desmond Tutu

Here I am at the turn of the millennium and I’m still the last man to have walked on the moon, somewhat disappointing. It says more about what we have not done than about what we have done. Eugene Cernan

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. Haile Selassie





I think sometimes I guess you see records, say you want to get there and use that as motivation. In a way, it’s kind of cool if there is a possibility to rewrite history and be up there with the greats of Olympic history. Michael Phelps

Political history is far too criminal and pathological to be a fit subject of study for the young. Children should acquire their heroes and villains from fiction. W.H. Auden, A Certain World

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The history of the world is the record of a man in quest of his daily bread and butter.  Hendrik Wilhelm van Loon, The Story of Mankind

Historians are gossips who tease the dead.  Voltaire, Scribbling Books

History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.  Voltaire

We are the prisoners of history. Or are we?  Robert Penn Warren, Segregation

History is full of the dead weight of things which have escaped the control of the mind, yet drive man on with a blind force.  Frederick Maurice Powicke, History, Freedom & Religion

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This is our history – from the Transcontinental Railroad to the Hoover Dam, to the dredging of our ports and building of our most historic bridges – our American ancestors prioritized growth and investment in our nation’s infrastructure. Cory Booker

If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. Carter G. Woodson

Recognizing Quebec as being different, recognizing our history, recognizing our identity, has never meant a weakening of Quebec and has never been a threat to national unity. Jean Charest

The point in history at which we stand is full of promise and danger. The world will either move forward toward unity and widely shared prosperity – or it will move apart. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up.  Author Unknown

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Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects.  Herodotus, The History of Herodotus

History: gossip well told.  Elbert Hubbard, The Roycroft Dictionary

History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard. It is a poem with events as verses.  Charles Angoff

If one could make alive again for other people some cobwebbed skein of old dead intrigues and breathe breath and character into dead names and stiff portraits. That is history to me!  George Macaulay Trevelyan

Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.  Dwight D. Eisenhower

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I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. Wendell Berry

Long before history began we men have got together apart from the women and done things. We had time. C. S. Lewis

You can always say that it was scarce dollars when Lewis and Clark wanted to go to the West Coast and explore the West. And people complained about it, I understand, from a reading of the history books. John Glenn

Throughout history no one has suffered more than God. He has suffered because his own children fell away from him. Ever since the Fall, God has been working tirelessly for the restoration of mankind. People do not know this brokenhearted aspect of God. Sun Myung Moon

Man is a history-making creature who can neither repeat his past nor leave it behind.  W.H. Auden, The Dyer’s Hand

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Then, Sir, you would reduce all history to no better than an almanack, a mere chronological series of remarkable events.  James Boswell, 1775

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.  Mark Twain, Following the Equator

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.  Plato, Ion

History is a vast early warning system.  Norman Cousins

[History is] the story of the magnificent rear-guard action fought during several thousand years by dogma against curiosity.  Robert S. Lynd

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Historian: A broad-gauge gossip.  Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

History is a great dust heap.  Thomas Carlyle, Obiter Dicta

Most history is guessing, and the rest is prejudice.  Will and Ariel Durant, Our Oriental Heritage

A lot of history is just dirty politics cleaned up for the consumption of children and other innocents. Richard Reeves

A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’ William F. Buckley, Jr.

The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years. George Matthew Adams

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Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Barbara Tuchman

There is a spirit and a need and a man at the beginning of every great human advance. Every one of these must be right for that particular moment of history, or nothing happens. Coretta Scott King

The history of agriculture is the history of humans breeding seeds and animals to produce traits we want in our crops and livestock. Michael Specter

You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the president. I’m innocent. You’ve got to believe I’m innocent. If you don’t, take my job. Richard M. Nixon

History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided. Konrad Adenauer

History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. Edward Gibbon

History is past politics, and politics present history.  John Robert Seeley, The Growth of British Policy

Bound as our lives are to the tyranny of time, it is through what we know of history that we are delivered from our bonds and escape – into time.  A.L. Rowse, The Use of History