Hubert H. Humphrey Quote Page

America
Fortunately, the time has long passed when people 
liked to regard the United States as some kind of 
melting pot, taking men and women from every part 
of the world and converting them into standardized, 
homogenized Americans. We are, I think, much more 
mature and wise today. Just as we welcome a world 
of diversity, so we glory in an America of diversity--
an America all the richer for the many different and 
distinctive strands of which it is woven.
Hubert H. Humphrey  "All-America Tribute to 
Archbishop Iakovos," speech, 
15 Jan. 1967, Chicago, Ill.

"In the minds and hearts of the American people, there is 
a great hunger for peace based on a universal 
recognition of the values of freedom and human dignity."
Hubert H. Humphrey

"The message of the United States is not nuclear power. 
The message of the United States is a spiritual message. 
It is the message of human ideals; it is the message of 
human dignity; it is the message of the freedom of ideas, 
speech, press, the right to assemble, to worship, and the 
message of freedom of movement of people." 1977
Hubert H. Humphrey

Be clear where America stands. Human brotherhood and 
equal opportunity for every man, woman, and child, we 
are committed to it, in America and around the world." 
Hubert Humphrey   1967

American Dream
"You cannot tell a poor boy from a small country town 
on the plains of South Dakota who has had the 
opportunity to be a teacher, a mayor, a senator, and 
a vice president, that America is not a nation of promise." 
Hubert H. Humphrey
1977

American Progress
Much of our American progress has been the product 
of the individual who had an idea; pursued it; fashioned 
it; tenaciously clung to it against all odds; and then 
produced it, sold it, and profited from it.
HHH

Arms
Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom 
under any government, no matter how popular and 
respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear 
arms.... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one 
guarantee against arbitrary government, one more 
safeguard against the tyranny which now appears 
remote in America but which historically has proven 
to be always possible. 
Hubert H. Humphrey



Bad Law
There are not enough jails, not enough policemen, 
not enough courts to enforce a law not supported 
by the people
Hubert H. Humphrey

Bigotry
The ugliness of bigotry stands in direct contradiction 
to the very meaning of America.
Hubert H. Humphrey

We should have learnt by now that laws and court 
decisions can only point the way. They can establish 
criteria of right and wrong. And they can provide a 
basis for rooting out the evils of bigotry and racism. 
But they cannot wipe away centuries of oppression 
and injustice however much we might desire it.
Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-78)
Speech, 1 June 1966, White House Conference

Civil Rights
"The leadership for civil rights has to take place in the 
White House or it is going to take place in the streets." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1964

"There are those who say to you -we are rushing this 
issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late. There 
are those who say -this issue of civil rights is an 
infringement on states rights. The time has arrived for 
the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of 
state's rights and walk forthrightly into the bright 
sunshine of human rights." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1948

Crises
"In this time of national crises...per haps we would do 
well to spend a few minutes in considering projects 
which grace and embellish the earth, instead of 
shaking it." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1962

Difference
"I believe that each of us can make a difference. That 
what is wrong can be made right. That people possess 
the basic wisdom and goodness to govern themselves 
without conflict." 1968

Do
"You can always debate about what you should have 
done. The question is what are you going to do?" 
Hubert H. Humphrey

"What you do, what each of us does, has an effect on 
the country, the state, the nation, and the world." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1968

"I am not here to judge whether people are locked in 
poverty because of themselves or because of the society 
in which they live. All I know is that they are there and we 
are trying to do something about it." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1966

Double Standard
"We cannot use a double standard for measuring our 
own and other people's policies. Our demands for 
democratic practices in other lands will be no more 
effective than the guarantees of those practiced in 
our own country." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1948

Economics
"I learned more about economics from one South Dakota 
dust storm than I did in all my years of college."
Hubert H. Humphrey

Equality
"Equality means equality for alló no exceptions, no 'yes, 
buts', no asterisked footnotes imposing limits." 1967

Failure and Defeat
"There is a lot of difference between failure and defeat. 
Failure is when you are defeated and neither learn nor 
contribute anything." 
Hubert H. Humphrey 
1970

Freedom
Freedom is the most contagious virus known to man.
Hubert H. Humphrey
Source: Speech, New York City, 29 October 1964

"Freedom is hammered out on the anvil
of discussion, dissent and debate."
Hubert H. Humphrey
(1911-1978) US Vice-President, US Senator (D-MN)
Source: Speech, Syracuse University, 6 June 1965

"The road to freedom here and everywhere on 
earth begins in the classroom."
Hubert H. Humphrey

"The gap between the rich and the poor is the most 
dangerous threat to world peace we have."
Hubert H. Humphrey

Friendship
The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have 
received it.

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love."



God
"When we say, 'One nation under God, with liberty and 
justice for all', we are talking about all people. We either 
ought to believe it or quit saying it ." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1966

Government
The moral test of government is how that government 
treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; 
those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and 
those in the shadows of life--the sick, the needy, 
and the handicapped.
Hubert H. Humphrey 11/1/77

The impersonal hand of government can never replace 
the helping hand of a neighbor. 
- Hubert H Humphrey 



Human Spirit
There are incalculable resources in the human spirit, 
once it has been set free.
Hubert H. Humphrey 

Nov 23 1960 Vir

Leadership
American public opinion is like the ocean--
it cannot be stirred by a teaspoon.
HHH, Gannon College, 10/11/66

Leadership in today's world requires far more than a 
large stock of gunboats and a hard fist at the 
conference table.

Living
"There is a great deal of difference between living and 
surviving. You can survive in debauchery, even in sickness 
and despair. But you live with a spirit of vitality and a spirit 
of participation, of being wanted, and having something 
to contribute." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1966

"It is all too easy for a society to measure itself against 
some abstract philosophical principle or political slogan. 
But in the end, there must remain the question: What kind 
of life is one society providing to the people that live in it?" 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1966

Moral Test of a Government
"The moral test of a government is how it treats those 
who are at the dawn of life, the children; those who 
are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are 
in the shadow of life, the sick, the needy, and the 
handicapped." 
Hubert H. Humphrey
1976

Peace
The pursuit of peace resembles the building of a great 
cathedral. It is the work of a generation. In concept it 
requires a master-architect; in execution, the labors 
of many. 
--Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-78)
U.S. Democratic politician, vice president.
Remarks, 17 Feb. 1965, New York City. 

"Peace is not passive, it is active. Peace is not 
appeasement, it is strength. Peace does happen. 
It requires work."
Hubert H. Humphrey 



Politics
Defeat, like victory, is only a passing phenomenon in 
a political career. The battle for one's ideals and beliefs 
must go on, and I mean to pursue mine.
HHH after defeat in 1968

The hardest job for a politician today is to have the 
courage to be a moderate. It's easy to take an 
extreme position.

It is not what they take away from you that counts. 
It's what you do with what you have left.

Poverty
"This is the first generation in all of recorded history that 
can do something about the scourge of poverty. We have 
the means to do it. We can banish hunger from the face 
of the earth." 1965

Right
The right to be heard does not include the right to be 
taken seriously. 
- Hubert Humphrey 

Rose
In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of 
the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are 
not only what they are. They are, in very important 
respects, what they seem to be.

Something
"If I believe in something, I will fight for it, with all I have. 
But I do not demand all or nothing. I would rather get 
something than nothing." 
- Hubert Humphrey, 1963

Surprise
Surprise
Behind every successful man stands a surprised 
mother-in-law."



Trickle Down
"My philosophy has always been that benefits should 
percolate up rather than trickle down." 
Hubert H. Humphrey 1971

Truth
Men in earnest have no time to waste In patching 
fig-leaves for the naked truth.
Hubert H. Humphrey , 
36th US Vice President, Democrat



Unemployment
"There is no such thing as an acceptable level of 
unemployment, because hunger is not acceptable, 
poverty is not acceptable, poor health is not acceptable, 
and a ruined life is not acceptable."
Hubert H. Humphrey

What Do We Want?
"What do we want for people? Human dignity, personal 
expression and fulfillment, justice, freedom." 
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1967

Youth
Each child is an adventure into a better life--an 
opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new.

World War II
Today we know that World War II began not in 1939 
or 1941 but in the 1920's and 1930's when those who 
should have known better persuaded themselves 
that they were not their brother's keeper. 
Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-78), 
Speech, 11 Nov. 1965

Mail James Richard Howington


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