Our Banner in the Sky, Frederic Edwin Church
                                         Our Banner in the Sky attributed to Frederic Edwin Church (1861)

Only a few years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, quotes about America were already being collected as a documentary record of the development of a young nation.  Perhaps the most popular time to recall the great writers and thinkers of the United States is on July 4th, when Americans mark the birthday of their country.  Back in 1781, the Massachusetts State Legislature became the first to adopt the fourth as a state holiday.  In 1791 the first documented use of the term "Independence Day" took place.

What is perhaps lesser known is that the Second Continental Congress voted for the legal separation of the 13 Colonies from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, approving a resolution put forth in June by Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia.  The Declaration of Independence was formally ratified on the fourth. The future second president of the United States, John Adams, wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3rd the following words:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to G-d Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Air Force One over Mt. Rushmore                                                                                        Air Force One over Mt. Rushmore

Although off by two days, Mr. Adams's prediction could not ring more true. Americans throughout the generations have faithfully marked the birth of the American nation with festivities, fireworks and gatherings of family and friends. The celebrations are no less jubilant or meaningful than they were in those first days of Independence. Most of all there is much thanks to the men and women of the 18th century who sacrificed everything in pursuit of freedom.

In honor of Independence Day, the writers at My Word Wizard have gathered together some of their favorite and most inspiring quotes about America. These are the words of presidents, singers, former slaves and fighters for liberty. We hope they add something to your own celebration of the day.

Happy 4th of July!

Independence Day

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

~Martin Luther King Jr.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln

A great man, tender of heart, strong of nerve, boundless patience and broadest sympathy, with no motive apart from his country." (referring to Abraham Lincoln)

~Frederick Douglass

Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country.

~Sinclair Lewis

In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.

Oscar Wilde

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. 

~Louis D. Brandeis

May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country! 

~Daniel Webster

Apollo 15 Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin salutes the U.S. flag.
                                                 Apollo 15 Lunar Module Pilot James B. Irwin salutes the U.S flag

If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace. 

~Hamilton Fish

Where liberty dwells, there is my country. 

~Benjamin Franklin

Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea. 

~John Gunther

The winds that blow through the wide sky in these mounts, the winds that sweep from Canada to Mexico, from the Pacific to the Atlantic - have always blown on free men. 

~Franklin D. Roosevelt

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. 

~William J. Clinton

Writing of the Declaration of Independence, 1776 by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris                                    Writing of the Declaration of Independence by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

The business of America is not business. Neither is it war. The business of america is justice and securing the blessings of liberty.

~George F. Will

This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do.

~Jack Kerouac


We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. 

~Felix Frankfurter

We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution. 

~John F. Kennedy

My G-d! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! 

~Thomas Jefferson

Independence Hall Assembly Room 
                        Independence Hall Assembly Room where Declaration of Independence was signed

My father was not a failure. After all, he was the father of a president of the United States.

~Harry S. Truman

Because of what America is and what America has done, a firmer courage, a higher hope, inspires the heart of all humanity.

~Calvin Coolidge

To the founding fathers; as you gaze down upon us from the heavens above, know that we have never forgotten the gift of freedom you bestowed upon a nation.

~Alan Loren

America is not just a country, it's an idea


English brig with captured American vessels, Francis Holman (1780)  
                                English brig with captured American vessels, Francis Holman (1780)

Yesterday, the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that those United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States."

~John Adams

Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.

~John Quincy Adams

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.

~Frederick Douglass

Sayings compiled by Alan Loren

*From various sources

**Some background information on Independence Day provided by Wikipedia 

Share Your Quotes about America and
We'll Publish Them Online

Don't you just love quotes about America and other sayings that speak to the history of the United States?  Our editors are always looking for new quotes about America, patriotic sentiments and other thoughts to add to our collection. Submit your own writings or your favorite quotes about America to our editors by clicking the "submit a poem/contact us" link at the bottom of this page.


Search Here for Poetry

Click here if you love us! Follow Me on Pinterest