Tuesday is President Barack Obama’s 54th birthday. Obama was born on Aug. 4, 1961 in Honolulu, and at age 47 he became the United States’ fifth-youngest commander-in-chief. He’s beaten out by Ulysses S. Grant, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt, who was only 42 when he took office.
Last year, Obama marked his birthday with meetings and the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. But this year he started the celebrations early. On Saturday he took his friends out golfing at Andrews Air Force and then went to Camp David in Maryland, where he’s also partied in previous years.
Take some time to honor the president on your own today by reading some of his most famous quotes, mostly serious but some fun, collected from Wikiquote, Parade and GoodReads:
“We always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it and to work for it and to fight for it.”
“Six years into my presidency some people still say I’m arrogant, aloof, condescending. Some people are so dumb.”
“Societies held together by fear and repression may offer the illusion of stability for a time, but they are built upon fault lines that will eventually tear asunder.”
“A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.'”
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
“There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have for our children, for our families, for each other. The warmth of a small child’s embrace, that is true.”
“It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong.”
“One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”