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History QUOTES

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* If the entire history of mankind were condensed into a single year, our knowledge of how to destroy life on earth with weapons of mass destruction has been acquired in the last thirty seconds. Never again will we lack the knowledge to eliminate the world in a single act of madness. Therefore, we are faced with a dilemma unique in our history. We must not only control the weapons that can kill us, we must bridge the great disparities of wealth and opportunity among the peoples of the world, the vast majority of whom live in poverty without hope, opportunity or choices in life. These conditions are a breeding ground for division that can cause a desperate people to resort to nuclear weapons as a last resort. Our only hope lies in the power of our love, generosity, tolerance and understanding and our commitment to making the world a better place ...
-- Muhammad Ali

There have been periods of history in which episodes of terrible violence occurred but for which the word violence was never used...Violence is shrouded in justifying myths that lend it moral legitimacy, and these myths for the most part kept people from recognizing the violence for what it was. The people who burned witches at the stake never for one moment thought of their act as violence; rather they though of it as an act of divinely mandated righteousness. The same can be said of most of the violence we humans have ever committed.
--Gil Bailie

Everything now, we must assume, is in our hands; we have no right to assume otherwise. If we do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.
-- James Baldwin

...let us reaffirm the inherent dignity of all men, women and children. And let us redouble our efforts to build societies in which slavery truly is a term for the history books.
-- Ban Ki-moon

* “Racism is an ism to which everyone in the world today is exposed; for or against, we must take sides. And the history of the future will differ according to the decision which we make.”
-- Ruth Fulton Benedict

* How are we going to make our livings in a society becoming increasingly jobless because of hi-tech and outsourcing? Where will we get the imagination to recognize that for most of human history the concept of Jobs didn’t even exist? Work, as distinguished from Labor, was done to produce needed goods and services, develop skills and artistry, and nurture cooperation.
-- Grace Lee Boggs

History will judge us on how we respond to the AIDS emergency in Africa....whether we stood around with watering cans and watched while a whole continent burst into flames....or not.
-- Bono

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women
submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their government.
-- William E. Borah

The history of America has been largely created by the deeds of its working people and their organizations
--there is scarcely an issue that is not influenced by labor’s organized efforts or lack of them.
-- William Cahn, Labor historian

For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.
~ Rachel Carson

* It would be naďve to think that peace and justice can be achieved easily. No set of rules or study of history will automatically resolve the problems … However, with faith and perseverance, … complex problems in the past have been resolved in our search for justice and peace.
-- Jimmy Carter

It seems to rise again when the crisis times come, and this is a time of most severe crisis, as we all know, not just for the history of the United States and the survival indeed of our democracy, but for the future peace of the world. And never before probably has the need for interfaith commitment been nearly as great as it is at this very moment.
-- Walter Cronkite

History is the present. That's why every generation writes it anew.
But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth.
-- E. L. Doctorow
When women's true history shall have been written,
her part in the upbuilding of this nation will astound the world.
-- Abigail Duniway

The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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

History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery. -- Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

"The ecological crisis is doing what no other crisis in history has ever done - challenging us to a realization of a new humanity."
-- Jean Houston

In human history there has been a continuous and growing impulse toward the regeneration and transformation of humanity.
-- Barbara Marx Hubbard

* For the first time in the history of mankind, one generation literally has the power to destroy the past, the present and the future, the power to bring time to an end
-- Hubert Humphrey

The goal toward which all history tends is peace, not peace through the medium of war, not peace through a process of universal intimidation, not peace through a program of mutual impoverishment, not peace by any means that leaves the world too weak or too frightened to go on fighting, but peace pure and simple based on that will to peace which has animated the overwhelming majority of mankind through countless ages. This will to peace does not arise out of a cowardly desire to preserve one's life and property, but out of conviction that the fullest development of the highest powers of men can be achieved only in a world of peace.
-- Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977)

* There is so much each one of us can do to make a difference. We are at a dangerous juncture in the history of mankind. … We need to defend our principles and values, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of international law. If we don’t our world will further descend into a state of chaos.
-- Bianca Jagger

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

In times of danger large groups rise to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, courage and sacrifice . . . Mankind will be refashioned and history rewritten when this law is understood and obeyed.
--
Helen Keller

The lesson of history is clear: democracy always wins in the end.
-- Marjorie Kelly

* And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us ... will be measured by the answers to four questions: First, were we truly men of courage... Second, were we truly men of judgment... Third, were we truly men of integrity... Finally, were we truly men of dedication?
-- John F. Kennedy, 1961

And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us, recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state, our success or failure, in whatever office we hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions: First, were we truly men of courage... Second, were we truly men of judgment... Third, were we truly men of integrity... Finally, were we truly men of dedication?
-- John F. Kennedy, 1961

* "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation." -- Robert F. Kennedy

* It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. -- Robert F. Kennedy

"The course of human history is determined,
not by what happens in the skies, but by what takes place in our hearts."
-- Sir Arthur Kent

* Where are the unusual individuals, the daring pioneers, who will devote their lives to making a better history for humanity? In order to create a new history for mankind, human beings will first have to create a new history within themselves. They will have to liberate themselves from national, religious, racial, and class prejudices and from enslavement to honor, fame, and pleasure...
-- Frederick Kettner

In spite of the fact that the law of revenge solves no social problems, men continue to follow its disastrous leading. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr

"One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr

Human history is work history. The heroes of the people are work heroes.
-- Meridel Le Sueur

Let us learn from nuclear radiation victims and prevent history from repeating itself.
-- Hilda Lini

"The disappearance of utopia brings about a static state of affairs in which man himself becomes no more than a thing. We would then be faced with the greatest paradox imaginable….After a long, torturous, but heroic development, just at the highest stage of awareness, when history is ceasing to be blind fate, and is becoming more and more man's own creation, with the relinquishment of utopia, man would lose his will to shape history and therewith his ability to understand it."
-- Mannheim

It is a good moment to repeat that a war is never won. Never mind that history books tell us the opposite. The psychological and material costs of war are so high that any triumph is a pyrrhic victory. Only peace can be won and winning peace means not only avoiding armed conflict but finding ways of eradicating the causes of individual and collective violence: injustice and oppression, ignorance and poverty, intolerance and discrimination. We must construct a new set of values and attitudes to replace the culture of war which, for centuries, has been influencing the course of civilization. Winning peace means the triumph of our pledge to establish, on a democratic basis, a new social framework of tolerance and generosity from which no one will feel excluded.
-- Federico Mayor

It has been a woman's task throughout history to go on believing in life when there was almost no hope.
-- Margaret Mead

Slavery as an institution that degraded man to a thing has never died out. In some periods of history it has flourished: many civilizations have climbed to power and glory on the backs of slaves. In other times slaves have dwindled in number and economic importance. But never has slavery disappeared.
-- Milton Meltzer

If you look at the course of western history you'll see that we're slowly granting basic rights to everyone. A long time ago only kings had rights. Then rights were extended to property-owning white men. Then all men. Then women. Then children. Then the mentally retarded. Now we're agonizing over the extension of basic rights to homosexuals and animals. We need to finally accept that all sentient creatures are deserving of basic rights. I define basic rights as this --the ability to pursue life without having someone else's will involuntarily forced upon you. Or, as the framers of the constitution put it, the ability to have "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
-- Moby

"If heads of states fail to seize the opportunity of our entry into the third millennium to provide for a better government of planet Earth, history will not forgive them -- if there is a history."
-- Robert Muller

 

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep in our history and doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were for the moment unpopular. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of the Republic to abdicate his responsibility."
-- Edward R. Murrow

* The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble individual - for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost.
-- M. Scott Peck

Peace - the word evokes the simplest and most cherished dream of humanity. Peace is, and has always been, the ultimate human aspiration. And yet our history overwhelmingly shows that while we speak incessantly of peace, our actions tell a very different story.
-- Javier Perez de Cuellar

The philosophy that I have worked under most of my life is that the serious study of natural history is an activity which has far-reaching effects in every aspect of a person’s life. It ultimately makes people protective of the environment in a very committed way. It is my opinion that the study of natural history should be the primary avenue for creating environmentalists.
~ Roger Tory Peterson

* "The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
-- Carl Sagan

"Human history has been recorded as a succession of wars and changing empires. But a ray of hope has been carried forth throughout the ages by dreamers who have envisioned a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. The Magna Carta, the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were quantum leaps forward in our collective quest for a better world. We still have far to go, but we can help create that better world countless dreamers have imagined, wished for and endeavored to make come true. Every moment has brought us to this moment. We are the ones we've been waiting for to manifest our shared peacetopian dream."
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

"Human history has been recorded as a succession of wars and changing empires. But a ray of hope has been carried forth throughout the ages by dreamers who have envisioned a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. The Magna Carta, the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were quantum leaps forward in our collective quest for a better world. We still have far to go, but we can help create that better world countless dreamers have imagined, wished for and endeavored to make come true. Every moment has brought us to this moment. We are the ones we've been waiting for to manifest our shared peacetopian dream."
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

* We can help create that better world countless Dreamers have imagined, wished for, and endeavored to make come true. Every moment has brought us to this moment. We are the ones we've been waiting for to manifest our shared Peacetopian Dream...
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

Freedom is the most basic of all human rights, and yet throughout history many individuals and nations have had to struggle to be free. Much progress has been made in helping to win freedom for all. But even though all nations agreed to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for their citizens, many people are not allowed these basic liberties.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

As peacemakers, we are part of a movement that has worked throughout history towards humanity's greatest goal - creating a culture of peace.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

Viewed with one disposition, history has so far been a horrible accumulation of oppression and suffering. Viewed with another disposition, however, history has chronicled humans discovering their own finer potentials and together mounting heroic offensives to attain them - against monarchy, feudalism, slavery, Jim Crow racism, apartheid, sexual subjugation, second class citizenship, sexism, heterosexism, dictatorship, one party rule, capitalism, and coordinatorism (calling itself socialism) - and seeking, in their place, equity, justice, and freedom. The gains humans have made have been steady and plentiful. Now a major leap is possible. Consistent with past efforts, we can now attain fully liberatory goals, including, I think, participatory economics and also alternative structures for polity, culture, and kinship. We have only to make the effort.
-- Michael Albert

"When the dust settles and the pages of history are written, it will not be the angry defenders of intolerance who have made the difference. The reward will go to those who dared to step outside the safety of their privacy in order to expose and rout the prevailing prejudices."
-- Bishop John Shelby Spong

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

* "I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse."
-- Mark Twain

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
-- Mark Twain

The story of the human race is characterized by efforts to get along much more than by violent disputes, although it's the latter that makes the history books. Violence is actually exceptional. The human race has survived because of cooperation, not aggression.
-- Gerard Vanderhaar

* What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.
~Carter Woodson

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

To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places -- and there are so many -- where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
-- Howard Zinn


Through the centuries, the history of peoples is but a lesson in mutual tolerance.
-- Emile Zola

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