Famous Speeches by US Presidents and Other Figures

At times of difficulty or strife, the United States looks toward its leaders for comfort, motivation, and unity.  Often the speeches given by our leaders resonate beyond their original context. Memorable words of inspiration leave lasting impressions to inspire future generations. Words of comfort and strength are recalled in times of national tragedy. While watching Barack Obama’s inaugural address, most Americans couldn’t help but think of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, in which he declared that he had a dream. George W. Bush’s address to the nation after September 11, 2001 brought to mind the “day of infamy” that Roosevelt lamented before congress in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The following speeches are those that have lived on in the American conscience.