Minnesota State Fair Played Host To Famous Speech On This Day In 1901
One of the most famous speeches in American history was delivered at the Minnesota State Fair on this day, September 2nd, in 1901. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was at the Great Minnesota Get Together, where he delivered his historic "speak softly and carry a big stick" speech.
Here's the famous portion of the speech as transcribed by speakola.com:
Right here let me make as vigorous a plea as I know how in favor of saying nothing that we do not mean, and of acting without hesitation up to whatever we say. A good many of you are probably acquainted with the old proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick – you will go far.” If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble, and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power. In private life there are few beings more obnoxious than the man who is always loudly boasting, and if the boaster is not prepared to back up his words, his position becomes absolutely contemptible. So it is with the nation. It is both foolish and undignified to indulge in undue self-glorification, and, above all, in loose-tongued denunciation of other peoples. Whenever on any point we come in contact with a foreign power, I hope that we shall always strive to speak courteously and respectfully of that foreign power.
Four days after this speech was delivered, President William McKinley was assassinated and just eight days after his stop in Minnesota Roosevelt was the youngest President in United States history.