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300 History Quotes That Will Challenge Your View Of The World

Last Updated: October 19, 2022 by Team

Wikipedia defines history as “the study of past events, particularly in human affairs” or “the branch of knowledge that deals with past events; the formal record or study of past events, esp.” Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects, including art and artifacts.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” notes George Santayana, a principal figure in Classical American Philosophy. Our only fault as humankind is that we are prone to repeating our mistakes.

Our history significantly impacts us, and knowing our history allows us to understand where we are coming from, allowing us to understand our present. It not only reveals the past, but it also helps us create a better future. When you know history, you’ll be able to make more sense of the current world. Studying past economic and cultural trends can help you predict what will happen next in today’s world. It can also allow you to understand why some rules exist in today’s world.

This page contains a collection of quotes about history, as uttered by prominent historians, leaders, and other figures. Together they offer many broad perspectives about history, what it is, how it should be created, and what it should be used for.

300 Inspirational Quotes About History

Top 10 History Quotes

“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 Kennedy

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

“History maketh a young man to be old, without either wrinkles or gray hairs; privileging him with the experience of age, without either the infirmities or inconveniences thereof.” – Thomas Fuller

“Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.” – Oscar Wilde

“History in general is a collection of crimes, follies, and misfortunes among which we have now and then met with a few virtues, and some happy times.” – Voltaire

“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

“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” – Harry S. Truman

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” – James Baldwin

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

History is the link of the future. If you know the history, you'll know the future. Asep Kambali

What is History?

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“History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.” – John F. Kennedy

“History is written by the victors.” – Winston Churchill

“History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” – David McCullough

“History is the transformation of tumultuous conquerors into silent footnotes.” – Paul Eldridge

“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

“History is the interpretation of the significance that the past has for us.” – Johan Huizinga

“History is the action and reaction of these two, nature and thought – two boys pushing each other on the curbstone of the pavement.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“History is philosophy teaching by examples.” – Thucydides

“History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.” – Voltaire

“History is nothing if not an epic tale of missed opportunities.” – Graydon Carter

“History is nothing but assisted and recorded memory.” – George Santayana

“History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.” – Lord Acton

“History is moving, and it will tend toward hope, or tend toward tragedy.” – George W. Bush

“History is mostly guessing; the rest is prejudice.” – Will Durant

“History is more or less bunk.” – Henry Ford

“History is merely gossip.” – Oscar Wilde

“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“History is information. Memory is part of your identity.” – David Miliband

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

“History is formed by the people, those who have power and those without power. Each one of us makes history.” – Anselm Kiefer

“History is filled with tragic examples of wars that result from diplomatic impasse. Whether in our local communities or in international relations, the skillful use of our communicative capacities to negotiate and resolve differences is the first evidence of human wisdom.” – Daisaku Ikeda

“History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.” – Ambrose Bierce

“History is always changing.” – Aung San Suu Kyi

“History is a vast early warning system.” – Norman Cousins

“History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions.” – Ted Koppel

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

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“History is a resource.” – Laura Linney

“History is a relay of revolutions.” – Saul Alinsky

“History is a race between education and catastrophe.” – H.G. Wells

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

“History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.” – Voltaire

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

“History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” – James Joyce

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

“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 is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” – David McCullough

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

“History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

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

“What is history but a fable agreed upon?” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Our history is not our destiny.” – Alan Cohen

“History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.” – James Fenimore Cooper

“History, like God, is watching what we do.” – Bono

“History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.” – Thomas Jefferson

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou

“History, a distillation of rumour.” – Thomas Carlyle

“History of the world is the biography of the great man. And I said: The great man always act like a thunder. He storms the skies, while others are waiting to be stormed.” – Thomas Carlyle

“The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.” – Aldous Huxley


Short History Quotes

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“Human history is highly nonlinear and unpredictable.” – Michael Shermer

“Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.” – Voltaire

“Condemn me, it does not matter, history will absolve me.” – Fidel Castro

“Universal history is the history of a few metaphors.” – Jorge Luis Borges

“Debate and divergence of views can only enrich our history and culture.” – Ibrahim Babangida

“Learn from history or you’re doomed to repeat it.” – Jesse Ventura

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

“We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.” – George Santayana

“Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.” – Edward R. Murrow

“Each one writes history according to his convenience.” – Jose Rizal

“Every time history repeats itself the price goes up.” – Ronald Wright

“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” – Virginia Woolf

“Freedom has no history.” – Andrew Cohen

“Great woman belong to history and to self sacrifice.” – Leigh Hunt

“History develops, art stands still.” – E.M. Forster

“History can bring luck: this is what we can call optimism.” – Stephane Hessel

“History books that contain no lies are extremely dull.” – Anatole France

“History has been the history of warfare.” – Godfrey Reggio

“History doesn’t repeat itself – at best it sometimes rhymes.” – Mark Twain

“History has repeated itself many times throughout the ages.” – Billy Sheehan

“History laughs at both the victim and the aggressor.” – Mahmoud Darwish

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

“History provides no precise guidelines.” – Douglas Hurd

“History passes the final judgment.” – Sidney Poitier

“History should be written as philosophy.” – Voltaire

“History takes time. History makes memory.” – Gertrude Stein

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” – Winston Churchill

“History’s a resource.” – Laura Linney

“To understand a science, it is necessary to know its history.” – Auguste Comte

“Human history in essence is the history of ideas.” – H. G. Wells

“I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.” – Alexander Smith

“I felt like a pickle stepping into history.” – Bill Clinton

“I feel like I’m too busy writing history to read it.” – Kanye West

“I don’t want to go down in history as a man who allowed blood to be shed.” – Eduard Shevardnadze

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

“Ideas shape the course of history.” – John Maynard Keynes

“If you don’t know history, it is as if you were born yesterday.” – Howard Zinn

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

“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.” – Baruch Spinoza

“Isn’t history ultimately the result of our fear of boredom?” – Emile M. Cioran

“It is human nature that repeats itself, not history.” – John Toland

“It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature.” – Henry James

“Knowledge of history frees us to be contemporary.” – Lynn White, Jr.

“It’s not the sentiments of men which make history but their actions.” – Norman Mailer

“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” – Stephen Covey

“Look at history; all the interesting women were deeply flawed.” – Linda Gray

“Man seems to insist on ignoring the lessons available from history.” – Norman Borlaug

“Memoirs are the backstairs of history.” – George Meredith

“Meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed.” – Clifford Geertz

“Nowhere is it ordained that history moves in a straight line.” – Barack Obama

“One faces the future with one’s past.” – Pearl S. Buck

“Only the vanquished remember history.” – Marshall McLuhan

“Patriotism ruins history.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.” – Gustave Flaubert

“Revolutions are the locomotives of history.” – Karl Marx

“Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Sometimes history takes things into its own hands.” – Thurgood Marshall

“The best prophet of the future is the past.” – Lord Byron

“The becoming of man is the history of the exhaustion of his possibilities.” – Susan Sontag

“The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.” – George Eliot

“The history of mankind is the history of ideas.” – Luigi Pirandello

“The history of mankind is a history of war.” – Mike Love

“The history of liberty is a history of resistance.” – Woodrow Wilson

“The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler.” – Franz Kafka

“There is a history in all men’s lives.” – William Shakespeare

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” – Harry S. Truman

“Value people on their potential, not on their history.” – Bo Bennett

“We hire a man, not his history.” – Malcolm Forbes

“Well behaved women rarely make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“Work hard, have fun and make history.” – Jeff Bezos

“You can’t live in history. You’ve got to build for the future.” – Ruud Gullit

“You cannot amputate your history from your destiny, because that is redemption.” – Beth Moore

History Is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. And if it offends you, even better. Because then you are less likely to repeat it. It's not yours to erase. It belongs to all of us.

Best History Quotes

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“People live in the present. They plan for, and worry about, the future. Given all the demands that press in from living in the present and anticipating what is yet to come, why bother with what has been?” – Peter Stearns

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

“A little library, growing every year, is an honorable part of a man’s history. It is a man’s duty to have books.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“Every renaissance comes to the world with a cry, the cry of the human spirit to be free.” – Anne Sullivan

“For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.” – Maya Angelou

“For most of the history of our species we were helpless to understand how nature works. We took every storm, drought, illness and comet personally. We created myths and spirits in an attempt to explain the patterns of nature.” – Ann Druyan

“God will use whatever he wants to display his glory. Heavens and stars. History and nations. People and problems.” – Max Lucado

“History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this.” – Karl Marx

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” – B.C. Forbes

“History speaks to artists. It changes the artist’s thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images.” – Anselm Kiefer

“Human blunders usually do more to shape history than human wickedness.” – A. J. P. Taylor

“I can’t change history, I don’t want to change history. I can only change the future. I’m working on that.” – Boris Becker

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.” – Edward Gibbon

“I know of no time in human history where ignorance was better than knowledge.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.” – William Hazlitt

“No modern idea has affected history more than the passion of nationalism.” – Charles R. Poinsatte

“No period of history has ever been great or ever can be that does not act on some sort of high, idealistic motives, and idealism in our time has been shoved aside, and we are paying the penalty for it.” – Alfred North Whitehead

“Our culture, language, history, and values are vital to uniting us as a nation.” – Bobby Jindal

“People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It’s not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past.” – Milan Kundera

“Psychology keeps trying to vindicate human nature. History keeps undermining the effort.” – Mason Cooley

“The history of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of freedom.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

“The history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The history of the past interests us only in so far as it illuminates the history of the present.” – Ernest Dimnet

“What does the artist do? He draws connections. He ties the invisible threads between things. He dives into history, be it the history of mankind, the geological history of the Earth or the beginning and end of the manifest cosmos.” – Anselm Kiefer


Famous History Quotes

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“All history is current; all injustice continues on some level, somewhere in the world.” – Alice Walker

“Human history is not the product of the wise direction of human reason, but is shaped by the forces of emotion — our dreams, our pride, our greed, our fears, and our desire for revenge.” – Lin Yutang

“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

“People say history is boring, and that is true because people are boring. We haven’t changed since time began. We’re still the same. We’ve obviously made some changes.” – Colin Hay

“Regrets are idle; yet history is one long regret. Everything might have turned out so differently.” – Charles Dudley Warner

“The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” – Mark Twain

“The so-called lessons of history are for the most part the rationalizations of the victors. History is written by the survivors.” – Max Lerner

“To communicate the truths of history is an act of hope for the future.” – Daisaku Ikeda

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” – Mohandas Gandhi

“A thoughtful mind, when it sees a Nation’s flag, sees not the flag only, but the Nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the Government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the Nation that sets it forth.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“Anyone who believes you can’t change history has never tried to write his memoirs.” – David Ben Gurion

“As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path.” – Barack Obama

“Blood alone moves the wheels of history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Certain periods in history suddenly lift humanity to an observation point where a clear light falls upon a world previously dark.” – Anne Sullivan

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” – Ronald Reagan

“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.

“I do not speak Hebrew, but I understand that it has no word for ‘history’. The closest word for it is memory.” – David Miliband

“I truly believe that individuals can make a difference in society. Since periods of change such as the present one come so rarely in human history, it is up to each of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier world.” – Dalai Lama

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” – Thomas Jefferson

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

“The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history.” – Woodrow Wilson

“The history of our civilization has been one of intermittent war.” – John Boyd Orr

“The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.” – Mark Twain

“The history of woman is the history of the continued and universal oppression of one sex by the other. The emancipation of woman is her restoration to equal rights and privileges with man.” – Tennesse Claflin

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell

“The people who have really made history are the martyrs.” – Aleister Crowley

“The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.” – Mao Zedong

“The prolonged slavery of women is the darkest page in human history.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The view of Jerusalem is the history of the world; it is more, it is the history of earth and of heaven.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.” – Winston Churchill

“We are not merely passive pawns of historical forces; nor are we victims of the past. We can shape and direct history.” – Daisaku Ikeda

“We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today.” – Henry Ford

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall – think of it, always.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“It is not history which uses men as a means of achieving – as if it were an individual person – its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends.” – Karl Marx


Funny History Quotes

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“A poet in history is divine, but a poet in the next room is a joke.” – Max Eastman

“The haunting of history is ever present in Barcelona. I see cities as organisms, as living creatures. To me, Madrid is a man and Barcelona is a woman. And it’s a woman who’s extremely vain.” – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. George Washington

“The only history is a mere question of one’s struggle inside oneself. But that is the joy of it. One need neither discover Americas nor conquer nations, and yet one has as great a work as Columbus or Alexander, to do.” – D.H. Lawrence

“All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.” – Moliere

“False history gets made all day, any day, the truth of the new is never on the news.” – Adrienne Rich

“Few men in our history have ever obtained the Presidency by planning to obtain it.” – James A. Garfield

“God has never, in the history of mankind, allowed his name to go long offended.” – David Wilkerson

“Historical investigation has for its aim to fix the order and character of events throughout past time and in all places. The task is frankly superhuman.” – George Santayana

“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.” – Henry David Thoreau

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

“On human stupidity: It is one of the most powerful forces that shape history.” – Yuval Noah Harari

“On the day when man told the story of his life to man, history was born.” – Alfred de Vigny

“The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” – Virginia Woolf

“The lovers of romance can go elsewhere for satisfaction but where can the lovers of truth turn if not to history?” – Katharine Anthony

“The public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with.” – Golda Meir

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

“Yeah, I read history. But it doesn’t make you nice. Hitler read history, too.” – Joan Rivers

“You don’t change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

Don't let your history interfere with your future.

Historian Quotes

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“Like a historian, I interpret, select, discard, shape, simplify. Unlike a historian, I make up people’s thoughts.” – Hilary Mantel

“Reason is the historian, but passions are the actors.” – Antoine Rivarol

“Every historian discloses a new horizon.” – George Sand

“Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.” – H.L. Mencken

“Study men, not historians.” – Harry S. Truman

“Hindsight is the historian’s necessary vice.” – Hilary Mantel

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

“People take the longest possible paths, digress to numerous dead ends, and make all kinds of mistakes. Then historians come along and write summaries of this messy, nonlinear process and make it appear like a simple, straight line.” – Dean Kamen

“The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.” – E.L. Doctorow

“The historian is a prophet looking backward.” – Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

“The historian has been the hearth at which the soul of the country has been kept alive.” – John Morley

“To a historian libraries are food, shelter, and even muse.” – Barbara Tuchman

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

Black History Qutoes

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“Wherever you go in the history of America, there have been Black people making contributions, but their contributions have been obscured, lost, buried.” – Henry Louis Gates

“We are the only class in history that has been left to fight its battles alone, unaided by the ruling powers. White labor and the freed black men had their champions, but where are ours?” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The United States has written the white history of the United States. It now needs to write the black, Latino, Indian, Asian and Caribbean history of the United States.” – Carlos Fuentes

“The thing about black history is that the truth is so much more complex than anything you could make up.” – Henry Louis Gates

“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

“I do consider myself part of black history.” – Mary J. Blige

“He’s right, X is not my real name, but if you study history you’ll find why no black man in the western hemisphere knows his real name. Some of his ancestors kidnapped our ancestors from Africa, and took us into the western hemisphere and sold us there. And our names were stripped from us and so today we don’t know who we really are. I am one of those who admit it and so I just put X up there to keep from wearing his name.” – Malcolm X

“Black History Month must be more than just a month of remembrance; it should be a tribute to our history and reminder of the work that lies in the months and years ahead.” – Marty Meehan

“Black history is American history.” – Morgan Freeman

“Throughout history, the powers of single black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.” – W.E. Burghardt Du Bois

“Through avalanches of prejudices; industrial barriers; professional intrigues; legal technicalities; diplomatic effronteries, and political buffetings, the American Negro has, at last arrived before the public eye, as a factor not easily to be evaded.” – Mitchell Davis

“Our responsibility as citizens is to address the inequalities and injustices that linger, and we must secure our birthright freedoms for all people. As we mark the 40th year of National African American History Month, let us reflect on the sacrifices and contributions made by generations of African Americans, and let us resolve to continue our march toward a day when every person knows the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” – Barack Obama

“If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, “There lived a great people – a black people – who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.”  This is our challenge and our overwhelming responsibility.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

History teaches, but has no pupils. Antonio Gramsci

American History Quotes

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

“America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.” – Georges Clemenceau

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

“American history contains much matter for pride and congratulation, and much matter for regret and humiliation.” – Herbert Croly

“Europe will never be like America. Europe is a product of history. America is a product of philosophy.” – Margaret Thatcher

“I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works. And if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America you have to know about the Civil War.” – Ken Burns

“In other countries they have histories with revolutions and class movements. In America, people don’t like to think of themselves like being in a lower class. They all like to think of themselves as potential millionaires.” – Matt Taibbi

“No matter who you are or what you look like, how you started off, or how and who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny.” – Barack Obama

“The long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all and not just some.” – Barack Obama

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

“The historical problem of the United States is to admit that it is a multiracial and multi-ethnic nation.” – Carlos Fuentes

“I am America.  I am the part you won’t recognize.  But get used to me.  Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.” – Muhammad Ali

History repeats itself; first as a tragedy, second as a farce. Karl Marx Chapter 1 The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

History Quotes For Teachers

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“The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.” – Eric Hoffer

“There is an ancient Indian saying that something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. My people have come to trust memory over history. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth. Beware these men for they are dangerous themselves and unwise. Their false history is written in the blood of those who might remember and of those who seek the truth.” – Floyd Red Crow Westerman

“To be hopeful in bad times is based on the fact that human history is not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act. 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

“History, we can confidently assert, is useful in the sense that art and music, poetry and flowers, religion and philosophy are useful. Without it — as with these — life would be poorer and meaner; without it we should be denied some of those intellectual and moral experiences which give meaning and richness to life. Surely it is no accident that the study of history has been the solace of many of the noblest minds of every generation.” – Henry Steele Commager

“Humanity has experienced many revolutionary changes over the course of history: revolutions in agriculture, in science, industrial production, as well as numerous political revolutions. But these have all been limited to the external aspects of our individual and collective lives.” – Daisaku Ikeda

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” – Rudyard Kipling

“If history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth.” – E.O. Wilson

“In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind.” – Edmund Burke

“The main thing history can teach us is that human actions have consequences and that certain choices, once made, cannot be undone. They foreclose the possibility of making other choices and thus they determine future events.” – Gerda Lerner

“The history of all times, and of today especially, teaches that… women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves.” – Louise Otto

“The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.” – Karl Marx

“The writing of histories – as Goethe once noted – is one way of getting rid of the weight of the past…. The writing of history liberates us from history.” – Benedetto Croce

A disdain for history sets us adrift, and makes us victims of ignorance and denial. History lives in and through our bodies right now, and in every moment. Resmaa Menakem

History Quotes For Students

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“I have always been – I think any student of history almost inevitably is – a cheerful pessimist.” – Jacques Barzun

“Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?” – Carl Jung

“I’ve been completely fascinated with history because it tells everything about what’s going to happen next because it’s cyclical, everything repeats in general.” – Emile Autumn

“I love studying Ancient History and seeing how empires rise and fall, sowing the seeds of their own destruction.” – Martin Scorsese

“I love history. I love art. I like to mix it all together, but in the end it somehow has to all make sense.” – Anna Sui

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” – Michael Crichton

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

“One truth stands firm. All that happens in world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history.” – Albert Schweitzer

“Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.” – Angela Carter

“You don’t hate history, you hate the way it was taught to you in high school.” – Stephen Ambrose


Importance of History Quotes

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“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

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” – Elon Musk

“Unlike any other time in our history, we have to know that staying in school and getting an education is the most important thing you can do.” – Alexis Herman

“There are constant cycles in history. There is loss, but it is always followed by regeneration. The tales of our elders who remember such cycles are very important to us now.” – Carmen Agra Deedy

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” – Aldous Huxley

“I think violence, cynicism, brutality and fashion are the staples of our diet. I think in the grand history of story-telling, going back to people sitting around fires, the dark side of human nature has always been very important.” – Eric Stoltz

“If history is any indication, all truths will eventually turn out to be false.” – Dean Kamen

“In the end, human history is made up of all our decisions.” – David Miliband

“We must admit that history is enjoyable to a large extent because it enables us to pass judgement on the past.” – Douglas Hurd

“What we do about history matters. The often repeated saying that those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them has a lot of truth in it. But what are ‘the lessons of history’? The very attempt at definition furnishes ground for new conflicts. History is not a recipe book; past events are never replicated in the present in quite the same way. Historical events are infinitely variable and their interpretations are a constantly shifting process. There are no certainties to be found in the past.” – Gerda Lerner

“A drop of water, if it could write out its own history, would explain the universe to us.” – Lucy Larcom

“A generation which ignores history has no past – and no future.” – Robert A. Heinlein

“A nation that forgets its past can function no better than an individual with amnesia.” – David McCullough

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

“A political theory seeks to find from history the limits of the politically possible.” – Francis Parker Yockey

“History in its broadest aspect is a record of man’s migrations from one environment to another.” – Ellsworth Huntington

“History knows that it can wait for more evidence and review its older verdicts; it offers an endless series of courts of appeal, and is ever ready to reopen closed cases.” – William Stubbs

“I believe that with every bone in my body that all the inventions of humans, the computer is going to rank near, if not at the top, as history unfolds and we look back.” – Steve Jobs

“I believe that we must maintain pride in the knowledge that the actions we take, based on our own decisions and choices as individuals, link directly to the magnificent challenge of transforming human history.” – Daisaku Ikeda

“Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“The majority see the obstacles; the few see the objectives; history records the successes of the latter, while oblivion is the reward of the former.” – Alfred A. Montapert

“The man who has no sense of history, is like a man who has no ears or eyes.” – Adolf Hitler

the farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. winston churchill

Learning From History Quotes

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“Wisely used history can give pleasure and provide us with a useful tool; but we should not become its slaves.” – Douglas Hurd

“Throughout history, it took centuries for the habits of one culture to materially affect another. Now, that which becomes popular in one country can sweep through others within months.” – Dee Hock

“To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning.” – Hermann Hesse

“Television and film are our libraries now. Our history books.” – David Strathairn

“Study the past if you would define the future.” – Confucius

“Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.” – Winston Churchill

“More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers.” – Joe Murray

“History repeats itself because some experiences need to be lived before they can be understood.” – James Clear

“History repeats itself, which is good because most people don’t listen the first time.”

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

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

“Barcelona is a very old city in which you can feel the weight of history; it is haunted by history. You cannot walk around it without perceiving it.” – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

“We live in an era with no historical precedents. History is no longer useful as a tool in helping us understand current changes.” – Doug Coupland

“I would encourage us all, African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Whites, Native Americans to study history. I long for the time when all the human history is taught as one history. I am stronger because you are stronger. I am weaker if you are weak. So we are more alike than we are unlike.” – Maya Angelou

“What experience and history teach is this – that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles.” – George Wilhelm Hegel

“There are so many times and places in history in our world that I just don’t know anything about, and when I learn about them they’re always fascinating.” – Andrew Stanton

“Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out.” – Carl Sagan

“Life moves fast. As much as you can, learn from your history, you have to move forward.” – Eddie Vedder

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

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

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

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