170+ Best History Quotes and Sayings

best history quotes and sayings

These are inspirational, motivational, wise, sad and funny history quotes, sayings, and proverbs that inspire us. See more inspirational quotes on QuoteLicious.

Top 10 history quotes with pictures

history quotes History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions. ~Ted Koppel

History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions. ~Ted Koppel

history quotes We learned the value of research in World War II. ~Amar Bose

We learned the value of research in World War II. ~Amar Bose

history quotes History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul. ~John Dalberg-Acton

History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul. ~John Dalberg-Acton

history quotes History is an endless repetition of the wrong way of living. ~Lawrence Durrell

History is an endless repetition of the wrong way of living. ~Lawrence Durrell

history quotes Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. ~Marge Piercy

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. ~Marge Piercy

history quotes We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. ~Edward R. Murrow

We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. ~Edward R. Murrow

history quotes If you will read again what is written, you will see how it was. ~Black Elk

If you will read again what is written, you will see how it was. ~Black Elk

history quotes Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit. ~Henry Adams

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit. ~Henry Adams

history quotes History's like a story in a way: it depends on who's telling it. ~Dorothy Salisbury Davis

History’s like a story in a way: it depends on who’s telling it. ~Dorothy Salisbury Davis

history quotes You either make history or you don't. ~Ozuna

You either make history or you don’t. ~Ozuna

What is history?


What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past. ~Victor Hugo


History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are but, more importantly, what they must be. ~John Henrik Clarke


Real history is far more complex and interesting than the simplistic summaries presented in Wikipedia articles. Knowing this allows you to question received wisdom, to challenge ‘facts’ ‘everybody’ knows to be true, and to imagine worlds and characters worthy of our rich historical heritage and our complex selves. ~Ken Liu


History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there. ~George Santayana


History is a set of lies agreed upon. ~Napoleon Bonaparte


World history is a court of judgment. ~Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


History is dependent on the new generation to write a new chapter. ~LaMelo Ball


History is not hatred. ~Malcolm X


History is not just written by the winners; it’s written about them. ~Steve Rushin


History is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals. ~Malcolm X


History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~Alexis de Tocqueville


Most famous quotes in history


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


I don’t think you can erase history. ~Johnny Van Zant


I came, I saw, I conquered. ~Julius Caesar


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


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


History will decide if I’m a villain or a hero. ~Harlan Ellison


History shows that there are no invincible armies. ~Joseph Stalin


Revolutions are the locomotives of history. ~Karl Marx


Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history. ~Plato


Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me. ~Fidel Castro


History can just be so unkind as time passes. ~Joshua Henry


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


The main thing is to make history, not to write it. ~Otto von Bismarck


Legend remains victorious in spite of history. ~Sarah Bernhardt


Ideas shape the course of history. ~John Maynard Keynes


Following the light of the sun, we left the Old world. ~Christopher Columbus


For most of history, anonymous was a woman. ~Virginia Woolf


Sometimes – history needs a push. ~Vladimir Lenin


What is history but a fable agreed upon? ~Napoleon Bonaparte


You can’t supervise your own history. ~Roger Taylor


History develops, art stands still. ~E. M. Forster


History is written by the victors. ~Winston Churchill


Funny history quotes


The problem with quotes found on the internet is, that they are often not true. ~Abraham Lincoln


If lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.


If history repeats itself, I am so getting a dinosaur!


When the great history of trouble is written, my family will stand extremely high in the table of contents. ~Allan Sherman


It’s funny how the history of Jeb Bush is going to be rewritten. ~Chuck Todd


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


I feel like I’m too busy writing history to read it. ~Kanye West


If found dead. Delete browser history.


History can bring luck: this is what we can call optimism. ~Stephane Hessel


More funny quotes

American history quotes


The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin affair is one of the most important and clarifying moments in American history. ~Mike Gallagher


France, and the whole of Europe have a great culture and an amazing history. Most important thing though is that people there know how to live! In America they’ve forgotten all about it. I’m afraid that the American culture is a disaster. ~Johnny Depp


In an instant, the law was transformed: from the last passenger on the safe-haven bandwagon to a pioneer into uncharted territory. For the first time in American history, it was not only legal to relinquish a baby; in Nebraska, it was okay to abandon any child of any age for any reason at any time – with the full protection of the law. ~Wil S. Hylton


I love thinking about American history, thinking about LA history. I love brooding on crime. ~James Ellroy


I think the Lewis and Clark Expedition was the greatest undertaking in American History. I think landing a man on the moon pales next to it. ~Kathryn Lasky


We are now in the Me Decade – seeing the upward roll of the third great religious wave in American history. ~Tom Wolfe


The defining moment in American economic history is when Bill Clinton lobbied to get China into the World Trade Organization. It was the worst political and economic mistake in American history in the last 100 years. ~Peter Navarro


History has demonstrated time and again the inherent resilience and recuperative powers of the American economy. ~Ben Bernanke


Americans are rising to the tasks of history, and they expect the same of us. ~George W. Bush


The Trail of Tears has a great deal of meaning for every person of American Indian ancestry, whether they are Cherokee or not. For me, it has always stood for what is best and worst about the history of the United States. ~Joseph Bruchac


Personally, I can’t see the appeal in trekking down to D.C. for a networking extravaganza, even if it is built around a special moment in American history. While I find the election of Barack Obama inspirational, I don’t have a desire to memorialize it with overly effusive celebration. ~Jamie Johnson


We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness. ~Yvette Clarke


The essential relationship across American history between black people and white people is one of exploitation and one of plunder. This is not, you know, necessarily about, you know, whether you’re a good person or not or whether you see black people, you know, on the street, and you’re willing to shake their hands and be polite. ~Ta-Nehisi Coates


Do I feel any pressure as the most decorated Winter Olympian in American history? None at all. The only pressures that I know I face are those of how to pay it forward: How can I continually make a positive impact in people’s lives, help others achieve their dreams, create their own Olympic mindset, creating champions within themselves? ~Apolo Ohno


Let me tell you, never before in the history of this planet has anybody made the progress that African-Americans have made in a 30-year period, in spite of many black folks and white folks lying to one another. ~Dick Gregory


The revolutionary breakthrough will come with rockets that are fully and rapidly reusable. We will never conquer Mars unless we do that. It’ll be too expensive. The American colonies would never have been pioneered if the ships that crossed the ocean hadn’t been reusable. ~Elon Musk


I let the American people down. ~Richard M. Nixon


No person can be more deeply sensible than myself of the danger of entangling alliances with any foreign nation. That we should avoid such alliances has become a maxim of our policy consecrated by the most venerated names which adorn our history and sanctioned by the unanimous voice of the American people. ~James K. Polk


By looking into more details of American history, we can make more sense of what’s happening today. ~Christoph Waltz


A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil. ~Grover Cleveland


The making of an American begins at the point where he himself rejects all other ties, any other history, and himself adopts the vesture of his adopted land. ~James Baldwin


The great and abiding lesson of American history, particularly the cold war, is that the engine of capitalism, the individual, is mightier than any collective. ~Rand Paul


In time, foods such as hamburgers and ice cream became more than just meals. They became part of American history and culture, touchstones that are almost immediately nostalgic and sentimental no matter how old you are or what part of the country you are from. ~Homaro Cantu


The contributions of African Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants throughout our nation’s history are undeniable, but the tendency to overlook their gallant efforts is pervasive and persistent. ~Tammy Duckworth


American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it. ~James Baldwin


The real 1960s began on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. It came to seem that Kennedy’s murder opened some malign trap door in American culture, and the wild bats flapped out. ~Lance Morrow


Most of the best music in American history was made by people with no options. ~Isaac Brock


The methodologies of examining hip hop are borrowed from sociology, politics, religion, economics, urban studies, journalism, communications theory, American studies, transatlantic studies, black studies, history, musicology, comparative literature, English, linguistics, and other disciplines. ~Michael Eric Dyson


The history of African-American repression in this country rose from government-sanctioned racism. Jim Crow laws were a product of bigoted state and local governments. ~Rand Paul


When you start to look at Native American history, you realize that, very far from being a peaceful, morally superior people, Native Americans were not that different from Europeans. ~Philipp Meyer


No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. ~Richard M. Nixon


The American flag is the symbol of our freedom, national pride and history. ~Mike Fitzpatrick


The history of American democracy, to say the least, has been checkered. Our nation was founded at a time when people of African descent were held in bondage. After slavery was abolished, they were forced to endure legal discrimination for another 100 years. ~Bernie Sanders


As American freemen, we cannot but sympathize in all efforts to extend the blessings of civil and political liberty, but at the same time, we are warned by the admonitions of history and the voice of our own beloved Washington to abstain from entangling alliances with foreign nations. ~Zachary Taylor


American history contains much matter for pride and congratulation, and much matter for regret and humiliation. ~Herbert Croly


As we walked through the National Museum of African American History and Culture, I pushed my grandfather in a wheelchair he had reluctantly agreed to sit in. He is a proud man who also knows that his knees aren’t what they once were – that years of high school and college football had long accelerated the deterioration of his aging joints. ~Clint Smith


Our nation is built upon a history of immigration, dating back to our first pioneers, the Pilgrims. For more than three centuries, we have welcomed generations of immigrants to our melting pot of hyphenated America: British-Americans; Italian-Americans; Irish-Americans; Jewish-Americans; Mexican-Americans; Chinese-Americans; Indian-Americans. ~Ami Bera


The 1950s and 1960s had been a period of enormous growth, the highest in American history, maybe in economic history. ~Noam Chomsky


I think the most important idea is to remember that there have been times throughout American history where what is right is not the same as what is legal. ~Edward Snowden


I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history. ~Morgan Freeman


History quotes for teachers, students


To be successful in anything, you have to have a passion for it, and that leads to being enthusiastic and demanding. I didn’t have it for history. So I wouldn’t have been a good teacher in that area. But I had it for basketball. And that’s what coaching is at every level: it’s about teaching. ~Jeff Van Gundy


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


History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap. ~Ronald Reagan


Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history. ~Carter G. Woodson


The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it. ~Jonathan Sacks


In schools with a history of chaos, the teacher who can keep the classroom calm becomes virtually indispensable. ~Jonathan Kozol


A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life. ~Norman Cousins


History teaches us to beware of the excitation of the liberated and the injustices that often accompany their righteous thirst for justice. ~Wole Soyinka


I go into my library and all history unrolls before me. ~Alexander Smith


As a kid, I had this ultimate goal to be a teacher. I wanted to be a history teacher like my dad. ~Mike Trout


See also: education quotes, children quotes

Quotes from historical figures


People ask me why my figures have to be so black. There are a lot of reasons. First, the blackness is a rhetorical device. When we talk about ourselves as a people and as a culture, we talk about black history, black culture, black music. That’s the rhetorical position we occupy. ~Kerry James Marshall


There are so many figures in our history that did not believe they could make a change, and they did. ~Malala Yousafzai


There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion, and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions. ~Frank Sinatra


History will be kind to me; for I intend to write it. ~Winston Churchill


I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. ~Albert Einstein


We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. ~Abraham Lincoln


If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. ~John Quincy Adams


Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. ~John F. Kennedy


The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. ~Albert Einstein


Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. ~Winston Churchill

More failure quotes

We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage. ~Teddy Roosevelt


Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ~John F. Kennedy


To know nothing of what happened before you were born, is to forever remain a child. ~Cicero


When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. ~Thomas Jefferson


A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government. ~George Washington


Quotes about historical places


I always thought of Djibouti as a place where human history hasn’t really begun yet – or perhaps it’s already over. There’s something in the landscape that’s stronger than human civilisation. There’s no agriculture, for example, and there are live volcanoes. ~Claire Denis


I love Chicago. It’s such a great town, and it’s got great culture and great history, and it’s not as extreme as LA or New York, and it’s just- it’s hard for me for work, because I don’t live and work in the same place and that’s tough. But I’m- I love it. ~Joan Cusack


I’ve always liked Southeast Asia a lot. It’s a wonderful place, an easy place. People are great, there’s a lot of history and culture, and I like the serenity of Buddhism there. It’s very beautiful. I find that to be a very nice place to visit. ~Matt Dillon


My place in history will depend on what I can do for the people and not on what the people can do for me. ~William Jennings Bryan


I’m really looking forward to it, if you can imagine floating weightless, watching the world pour by through the big bay window of the space station playing a guitar; just a tremendous place to think about where we are in history. ~Chris Hadfield


My only advice is, follow your dream and do whatever you like to do the most. I chose journalism because I wanted to be in the places where history was being made. ~Jorge Ramos


All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds. ~Richard Brautigan


A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas – a place where history comes to life. ~Norman Cousins


Rewriting history quotes


Now, there are some who would like to rewrite history – revisionist historians is what I like to call them. ~George W. Bush


Should we be rewriting history just to make people feel good? That’s not history, that’s psychiatry. ~Edward I. Koch


The curves of your lips rewrite history. ~Oscar Wilde


It is a rewriting of history by a heretical group. This is not a true historical account of what took place. ~Jim Hamilton


Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. ~George Orwell


The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. ~Oscar Wilde


We’re constantly changing facts, rewriting history to make things easier, to make them fit in with our preferred version of events. We do it automatically. We invent memories. Without thinking. If we tell ourselves something happened often enough we start to believe it, and then we can actually remember it. ~S.J. Watson


Quotes about history repeating itself


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


If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience. ~George Bernard Shaw


History repeats itself. So you might wanna pay attention. ~Quavo


History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed away is never reproduced. It is as utterly gone out of the world as the song of a destroyed wild bird. ~Joseph Conrad


We just feel like history repeats itself. You ain’t never going to see nothing brand new; you’re only going to see when records are broken. And we’re here to just set records and set trends and follow the footsteps that have been shown to us. ~Quavo


I’m a strong believer that you can build great companies in time of both greed and fear. But you have to be paying attention and operating under the right assumptions. You don’t have to believe history repeats itself, but you should accept that history rhymes. ~Brad Feld


History repeats itself, and that’s one of the things that’s wrong with history. ~Clarence Darrow


History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other. ~Philip Guedalla


All I know is that history repeats itself and people are going to want to experience the world. But I know then they are going to have a better appreciation for what is here in Maine. ~John Baldacci


Sometimes history repeats itself. And sometimes it doesn’t. ~Adam Curtis


Quotes about life, love


I actually love history. I’ve devoured book after book of stories from World War I and World War II. They’re really two sections of world history that really interest me. I knew very extensively a lot about World War I. ~Celine Buckens


As a historian, I love every little detail, but whole long passages about wood paneling and journeys on horseback and every stop at every inn had to go out the window. I decided the history in the books should be like spice in a soup – a little went a long way. Like cilantro. ~Deborah Harkness


I found my partner, my life partner, and I really am in love with my wife, and we have a lovely time, and we share a long history together and children together, and that’s it. ~Ewan McGregor


If you look at the paintings that I love in art history, these are the paintings where great, powerful men are being celebrated on the big walls of museums throughout the world. What feels really strange is not to be able to see a reflection of myself in that world. ~Kehinde Wiley


I had a go at changing history – maybe not all by myself – I fought at the battle of Normandy, I slogged through the Ardennes, and I celebrated the liberation of Paris on the streets with beautiful French girls throwing flowers at me. I said good-bye to my first true love and discovered what I really wanted to do with my life. ~LeRoy Neiman


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


World War II is the greatest drama in human history, the biggest war ever and a true battle of good and evil. I imagine writers will continue to get stories from it, and readers will continue to love them, for many more years. ~Ken Follett


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 never feel lonely if I’ve got a book – they’re like old friends. Even if you’re not reading them over and over again, you know they are there. And they’re part of your history. They sort of tell a story about your journey through life. ~Emilia Fox


While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life every day, knowing that we are becoming history with every work, every action, every deed. ~Mattie Stepanek


The life history of the individual is first and foremost an accommodation to the patterns and standards traditionally handed down in his community. ~Ruth Benedict


Life isn’t meant to be easy. It’s hard to take being on the top – or on the bottom. I guess I’m something of a fatalist. You have to have a sense of history, I think, to survive some of these things… Life is one crisis after another. ~Richard M. Nixon


There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering. ~Theodore Roosevelt


See also: life quotes, love quotes


Quotes about history, lesson learned


All the lessons of history in four sentences: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power. The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. The bee fertilizes the flower it robs. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~Charles A. Beard


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~Aldous Huxley


The great and abiding lesson of American history, particularly the cold war, is that the engine of capitalism, the individual, is mightier than any collective. ~Rand Paul


My lesson from history is that if there is a strong moderate centrist party which can lead the country, there is no room for extremists from the right or left. ~Viktor Orban


One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. ~Will Durant


Man seems to insist on ignoring the lessons available from history. ~Norman Borlaug


Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. ~Stephen Hawking


The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history. ~Carl T. Rowan


Google is my best friend and my worst enemy. It’s fabulous for research, but then it becomes addictive. I’ll have a character eating an orange, and next thing I’m Googling types of oranges, I’m visiting chat rooms about oranges, I’m learning the history of the orange. ~Liane Moriarty


Throughout human history, in any great endeavour requiring the common effort of many nations and men and women everywhere, we have learned – it is only through seriousness of purpose and persistence that we ultimately carry the day. We might liken it to riding a bicycle. You stay upright and move forward so long as you keep up the momentum. ~Ban Ki-moon


Wireless is the largest information, communication, and technology platform in history, and mobile broadband is transforming how we can deliver educational materials and experiences to all students. The technology now exists to support learning on a massive scale and advance the 21st century skills needed to compete in the global economy. ~Peggy Johnson


For a long time growing up, I thought that everything happens for a reason and it’s kind of already written. But as I’ve grown and learned various things, I think that the most important moment is the one that you’re in, and that’s the only moment that matters, that you can really control. The future is unknown, and the past is history. ~Christen Press


Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history. ~George Bernard Shaw


I think documentaries are the greatest way to educate an entire generation that doesn’t often look back to learn anything about the history that provided a safe haven for so many of us today. ~Steven Spielberg


More life lessons quotes, knowledge quotes, learning quotes


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