Words of Wisdom: October

  • October 1

    “Belgium thinks that however great the peril which a country might have to undergo under the system which we seek to establish here, that country ought to do its duty.”

    — Henri La Fontaine, a Belgian international lawyer and president of the International Peace Bureau. He received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1913.

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  • October 2

    Jacques Toussaint Benoit pasilalinic-sympathetic compass is an apparatus that consists of a square wooden box containing a large horizontal disc. In the disc are 24 holes, eachcontaining a zinc dish lined with a cloth soaked in a coppersulphate solution; the cloth was held in place by a lineof copper. At the bottom of each of the 24 basins is a snail, glued in place, and each associated with a different letterof the alphabet. An identical second device holds the paired snails. To transmit a letter the operator touches one of the snails. This causes a reaction in the corresponding snail whichcan be read by the receiving operator.

    Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Pasilalinic-sympathetic+compass

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  • October 3

    “Deep into that darkness peering,
    long I stood there, wondering, fearing,

    Doubting, dreaming dreams
    no mortal ever dared to dream before …”

    — Edgar Allan Poe, from "The Raven"

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  • October 4

    “In the name of GOD, all powerful, author and supreme legislator of society. The general constituent Congress of the Mexican Nation, in the discharge of the duties confided to them by their constituents, in order to establish and fix its political Independence, establish and confirm its Liberty, and promote its prosperity and glory … “

    — Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States

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  • October 5

    “Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow’s hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.”

    — Quentin Crisp, English writer and raconteur

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  • October 6

    “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, Pan-Africanist writer, historian, professor, and a pioneer in the creation of Africana studies and professional institutions in academia

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  • October 7

    “For an economy built to last we must invest in what will fuel us for generations to come. This is our history – from the Transcontinental Railroad to the Hoover Dam, to the dredging of our ports and building of our most historic bridges – our American ancestors prioritized growth and investment in our nation’s infrastructure.”

    — Cory Booker, American politician and the junior United States Senator from New Jersey

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  • October 8

    DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, BOTH OF THE PEOPLE AND CHIEFS. “God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the earth,” in unity and blessedness. God has also bestowed certain rights alike on all men and all chiefs, and all people of all lands.These are some of the rights which He has given alike to every man and every chief of correct deportment; life, limb, liberty, freedom from oppression; the earnings of his hands and the productions of his mind, not however to those who act in violation of laws.

    God has also established government, and rule for the purpose of peace; but in making laws for the nation it is by no means proper to enact laws for the protection of the rulers only, without also providing protection for their subjects; neither is it proper to enact laws to enrich the chiefs only, without regard to enriching their subjects also, and hereafter there shall by no means be any laws enacted which are at variance with what is above expressed, neither shall any tax be assessed, nor any service or labor required of any man, in a manner which is at variance with the above sentiments.

    PROTECTION FOR THE PEOPLE DECLARED. Click here to read more.

    — Kingdom of Hawai`i Constitution of 1840

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  • October 9

    “A powerful Navy we have always regarded as our proper and natural means of defense; and it has always been of defense that we have thought, never of aggression or of conquest. But who shall tell us now what sort of Navy to build? We shall take leave to be strong upon the seas, in the future as in the past; and there will be no thought of offense or provocation in that. Our ships are our natural bulwarks.”

    — President Theodore Roosevelt, 2 December 1902, second annual message to Congress

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  • October 10

    “Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable.”

    — Diane Ackerman

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  • October 11

    “Be courageous! Whatever setbacks America has encountered, it has always emerged as a stronger and more prosperous nation. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith and go forward.”

    — Thomas Alva Edison, American inventor and businessman (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931)

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  • October 12

    “The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend.”

    — Benjamin Disraeli, a British Conservative politician and writer, who twice served as Prime Minister

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  • October 13

    “Begin the new year square with every man.” (i.e., pay your debts!)

    — Robert B. Thomas (1766-1846), founder, The Old Farmer's Almanac

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  • October 14

    “Just as an individual’s ability to delay gratification at a young age is a powerful predictor of future academic and professional achievement, discipline is also central to the long-run economic health of nations.”

    — Peter Blair Henry, an economist and the 9th Dean of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and William R. Berkley Professor of Economics and Business, and author of TURNAROUND: Third World Lessons for First World Growth

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  • October 15

    “As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.”

    — Edward Gibbon, author, "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

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  • October 16

    “I, John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty, land: will never be purged away; but with Blood. I had as I now think: vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed; it might be done.”

    — John Brown's last prophecy, written on the day of his execution, December 2, 1859

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  • October 17

    “I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.”

    — British General Charles Cornwallis

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  • October 18

    “The world is a severe schoolmaster, for its frowns are less dangerous than its smiles and flatteries, and it is a difficult task to keep in the path of wisdom.”

    — Phillis Wheatley, African-American poet

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  • October 19

    “We [Black Americans] are earnest in our support of the Government. We are earnest in the house of the nation’s perils and dangers; and now, in our country’s comparative peace and tranquility, we are earnest for our rights.”

    — US Representative Joseph Hayne Rainey, 1870

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  • October 20

    “Every thing useful and beneficial to man, seems to be connected with obedience to the laws of his nature, the inclinations, the duties, and the happiness of individuals, resolve themselves into customs and habits, favorable, in the highest degree, to society. In no case is this more apparent, than in the customs of nations respecting marriage.”

    — Astronomer Samuel Williams, 1780

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  • October 21

    “The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie.”

    — Agnes de Mille, American dancer and choreographer (1905-1993)

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  • October 22

    While at Princeton in 1771, James Madison is said to have slept only three hours of the 24, for months on end. Later he said: “Whenever a youth is ascertained to possess talents meriting an education which his parents cannot afford, he should be carried forward at the public expense.”

    — President James Madison, fourth President of the United States (1809–17)

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  • October 23

    “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    — Thomas Jefferson's belief in the relationship between good government and religious freedom is reflected; Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance

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  • October 24

    “I couldn’t describe the smells of West Virginia, even if I tried. It has something to do with the leaves composting in the woods, the cold trickle of little creeks and waterfalls, the ferns greening up everything. But somewhere deep below, I can smell the rock and the coal this state is built on.”

    ― Heather Day Gilbert, author, "Miranda Warning"

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  • October 25

    “An account of the proceedings at Boston yesterday is not yet come to hand. Mr. Hancock is chosen Governor by a very large majority of votes.”

    — The Massachusetts Spy

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  • October 26

    “No one was more fashionable, more sought after in Paris than Doctor Franklin. The crowd chased after him in parks and public places; hats, canes, and snuffboxes were designed in the Franklin style, and people thought themselves very lucky if they were invited to the same dinner party as this famous man.”

    — Anonymous observation by a Parisian of Benjamin Franklin (Monticello.org)

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  • October 27

    “It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.”

    — George Washington

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  • October 28

    “One of the first subjects of deliberation with the new Congress will be the independence of Kentucky, for which the southern states will be anxious. The northern will be glad to send a counterpoise in Vermont.”

    — From a letter written in 1787 from Alexander Hamilton (then a New York Assembly member) to Nathaniel Chipman (a US Senator from Vermont, Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, and the first judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont)

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  • October 29

    “Why could not advantage be taken of a time of relative calm and quiet to investigate and try to solve a question of such immense and worldwide importance, both from the humane and Christian stand-point?”

    — Jean Henri Dunant (1828-1910), founder of the Red Cross and the first recipient of Nobel Peace Prize. The 1864 Geneva Convention was based on Dunant's ideas

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  • October 30

    “Just able barely to mount a horse and ride about a little in the spring of 1866, my life was threatened daily, and I was forced to go heavily armed. The whole country was then full of militia, robbing, plundering and killing.”

    — Notorious bank robber Jesse James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882)

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  • October 31

    “Froze hard last night to day clear & warm Wind S: E: blowing briskly. Martha’s jaw swelled with the toothache: hungry times in camp; plenty hides, but the folks will not eat them. We eat them with a tolerable good apetite. Thanks be to Almighty God. Amen. Mrs Murphy said here yesterday that [she] thought she would Commence on Milt. & eat him. I don’t [think] that she has done so yet; it is distressing. The Donners, 4 days ago, told the California folks that they [would] commence to eat the dead people if they did not succeed, that day or next, in finding their cattle, [which were] then under ten or twelve feet of snow, & [the Donners] did not know the spot or near it; I suppose they have done so ere this time.”

    — From Donner Party member Patrick Breen’s journal. He filled 29 books from Nov. 20 1846 (several months after the journey began in April) to March 1, 1847 (the day of the rescue party’s arrival)

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