In Their Own Words

In honor of Independence Day, we present an all-American edition of "Own Words." "It is wholly fitting that we should celebrate July 4th, 1776. It is the day when the rest of the world's nations dropped their playthings and said, 'Uh-oh, Dad's home.'" -George S. Patton, 1943

"America is a train. A train that steams mightily along its tracks, picking up passengers from all the cities and towns on its route. There’s room for everyone, and the destination is a better tomorrow. But what is the biggest threat to a train? Indians. I think you can see where I’m going with this." -Andrew Jackson, 1835

"The Ancient Greeks invented democracy, but it was the Americans who figured out how to fill it with melted cheese." -Julia Child, 1972

"America. America, America. Strange that they named it after Amerigo Vespucci's first name. A little informal, don't you find? I should think they would have called it Vespuca. How about that, hm? The United States of Vespuca?" -Winston Churchill, age 82, on the phone with John F. Kennedy, October 1962

"Yeah, that's uh ... gosh, we're kind of busy here Winston, can I call you back?" -John F. Kennedy, October 1962, who was dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis at the time

"People talk about this country as if it's carved in stone. It's not, man. It changes. It's like a beautiful butterfly that transforms into a swan and flies away into the sky! And then the sky transforms into a thousand rainbows, whose colors sound like different notes on a xylophone. Then the rainbows shift, and become every person in this room, only our hands are rakes, and each time we touch someone we can see their bones. I think I need to lie down." -Timothy Leary, 1966

"A great day." -Abraham Lincoln, July 4, 1863 (entire text of speech, and the only thing he said all week)

"Always Vigilant, From Sea To Shining [REDACTED]" -Department of Homeland Security, official seal

"Serving in the United States Army has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope that the nation will continue to stand strong in the face of hey quick can you help me untie this?" -Colonel Thaddeus McKitrick, 1829, during his retirement ceremony (he had somehow gotten his foot tangled in his horse's bridle, and the horse had begun to walk away)

"Freedom is free, though they really screw you on the shipping & handling." -Eleanor Roosevelt, 1954