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Quotes of the Day for 4 March 2002 – Speeches

When an American president is sworn in the tradition is to let him make a speech, and the calendar shows at least four of those took place on this day in history. George Washington delivered his second on this day in 1791, the shortest ever at 133 words. Thomas Jefferson delivered his first, and the first ever at Washington City, in 1801. William Henry Harrison delivered the longest in 1841 - 8,443 words. And Franklin Roosevelt delivered his first, featuring the famous "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Harrison's should have been shorter: He delivered it bareheaded in the rain, caught pneumonia, and died within a month.

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The quotes:

My father gave me these hints on speech-making: Be sincere, be brief, be seated.
     - James Roosevelt

Eloquence is the essential thing in a speech, not information.
     - Mark Twain

There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.
     - Sir Winston Churchill, 1874 - 1965

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
     - Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

As I was leaving this morning, I said to myself 'the last thing you must do is forget your speech.' And sure enough, as I left the house this morning, the last thing I did was to forget my speech.
     - Rowan Atkinson


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