stack of six brown hardbound booksPhoto Credit: Chris Lawton

Great Quotes (with Shareable Pictures) About History

Welcome to our collection of quotes about history. We hope you enjoy pondering them! If you do, please share widely.

Quote: The sanctity of our battlefields, monuments, and veterans institutions is of utmost importance to preserve military history and pay respect to those who fought. by author Henry Waxman overlaid on photo of white brick wall planning
Photo Credit: Kupono Kuwamura

The sanctity of our battlefields, monuments, and veterans institutions is of utmost importance to preserve military history and pay respect to those who fought.


Quote: Optimists are usually wrong. But all the great change in history, positive change, was done by optimists. by author Thomas Friedman overlaid on photo of brown wooden hanging bridge surrounded by green trees during daytime
Photo Credit: Cory

Optimists are usually wrong. But all the great change in history, positive change, was done by optimists.


Quote: One little person, giving all of her time to peace, makes news. Many people, giving some of their time, can make history. by author Peace Pilgrim overlaid on photo of blue sky with stars during night time
Photo Credit: George Foster

One little person, giving all of her time to peace, makes news. Many people, giving some of their time, can make history.


Quote: We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience. by author George Bernard Shaw overlaid on photo of brown Scottish fold in brown thick-pile blanket
Photo Credit: Mikhail Vasilyev

We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.


Quote: If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience. by author George Bernard Shaw overlaid on photo of person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots
Photo Credit: David Suarez

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.


Quote: When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor. by author Elon Musk overlaid on photo of sunset
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.


Quote: Study the past if you would define the future. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Study the past if you would define the future.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Study the past if you would define the future. I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.


Quote: The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong. by author Winston Churchill overlaid on photo of two blue beach chairs near body of water
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.


Quote: If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. by author Grace Murray Hopper overlaid on photo of sunset
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.


Quote: The history of liberty is a history of resistance. by author Woodrow Wilson overlaid on photo of girl leaning on wall during daytime
Photo Credit: Kiana Bosman

The history of liberty is a history of resistance.


Quote: We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history. by author Sonia Johnson overlaid on photo of woman carrying baby while walking
Photo Credit: Dakota Corbin

We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.


Quote: History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. by author Maya Angelou overlaid on photo of photo of author Maya Angelou with quote

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.


Quote: History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. by author Martin Luther King Jr.  overlaid on photo of solid background
Photo Credit: César Couto

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.


Quote: A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. by author Mahatma Gandhi overlaid on photo of green ceramic mug beside book
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.


Quote: History never looks like history when you are living through it. by author John W. Gardner overlaid on photo of group of people inside the room in grayscale photo
Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle

History never looks like history when you are living through it.


Quote: People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them. by author James Baldwin overlaid on photo of woman standing on sunflower field
Photo Credit: Jayson Hinrichsen

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.


Quote: I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all. by author James Baldwin overlaid on photo of woman standing in green field
Photo Credit: Olia Nayda

I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all.


Quote: People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make. by author G. K. Chesterton overlaid on photo of woman in black jacket standing near window
Photo Credit: Klara Kulikova

People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.


Quote: We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. by author George Bernard Shaw overlaid on photo of silhouette photography of trees and sky
Photo Credit: Aperture Vintage

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.


Quote: The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like. by author E. L. Doctorow overlaid on photo of photo of author E. L. Doctorow with quote

The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.


Quote: History develops, art stands still. by author E. M. Forster overlaid on photo of photo of author E. M. Forster with quote

History develops, art stands still.


Quote: To communicate the truths of history is an act of hope for the future. by author Daisaku Ikeda overlaid on photo of lighted candle
Photo Credit: Marc Ignacio

To communicate the truths of history is an act of hope for the future.


Quote: I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done. by author Gautama Buddha overlaid on photo of lighted candle
Photo Credit: Marc Ignacio

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.


Quote: History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats. by author B. C. Forbes overlaid on photo of photo of author B. C. Forbes with quote

History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.


Quote: Unlike any other time in our history, we have to know that staying in school and getting an education is the most important thing you can do. by author Alexis Herman overlaid on photo of gray scale photo of woman face
Photo Credit: Alexander Krivitskiy

Unlike any other time in our history, we have to know that staying in school and getting an education is the most important thing you can do.


Quote: We are all tourists in history, and irony is what we win in wars. by author Anatole Broyard overlaid on photo of black semi automatic pistol on gray surface
Photo Credit: Jacob Boavista

We are all tourists in history, and irony is what we win in wars.


Quote: History is formed by the people, those who have power and those without power. Each one of us makes history. by author Anselm Kiefer overlaid on photo of green trees under white clouds
Photo Credit: Conscious Design

History is formed by the people, those who have power and those without power. Each one of us makes history.


Quote: History repeats herself. by author Jennifer Stone overlaid on photo of person holding white mini bell alarmclock
Photo Credit: Lukas Blazek

History repeats herself.


Quote: All our experience with history should teach us, when we look back, how badly human wisdom is betrayed when it relies on itself. by author Martin Luther overlaid on photo of white stone woman sculpture
Photo Credit: Daria Sheveleva

All our experience with history should teach us, when we look back, how badly human wisdom is betrayed when it relies on itself.


Quote: One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. by author Will Durant overlaid on photo of man in black jacket and blue denim jeans running on road during daytime
Photo Credit: Szőcs Viola

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.


Quote: Human history in essence is the history of ideas. by author H. G. Wells overlaid on photo of photo of author H. G. Wells with quote

Human history in essence is the history of ideas.


Quote: I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past. by author Edward Gibbon overlaid on photo of backdrop solid
Photo Credit: Mockaroon

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.


Quote: Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories. by author Zadie Smith overlaid on photo of telescope
Photo Credit: Diogo Brandao

Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.


Quote: Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy. by author Napoléon Bonaparte overlaid on photo of butterfly perching on leaves
Photo Credit: Arun Clarke

Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy.


Quote: A myth is far truer than a history, for a history only gives a story of the shadows, whereas a myth gives a story of the substances that cast the shadows. by author Annie Besant overlaid on photo of photo of author Annie Besant with quote

A myth is far truer than a history, for a history only gives a story of the shadows, whereas a myth gives a story of the substances that cast the shadows.


Quote: Watch the History Channel if you want it literal and historically perfect. by author Emily Blunt overlaid on photo of man and woman kissing each other
Photo Credit: Zou Meng

Watch the History Channel if you want it literal and historically perfect.


On human stupidity: It is one of the most powerful forces that shape history.


Quote: The public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with. by author Golda Meir overlaid on photo of silhouette of person jumping during dawn
Photo Credit: Austin Schmid

The public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with.


Quote: Work hard, have fun and make history. by author Jeff Bezos overlaid on photo of person holding pencil near laptop computer
Photo Credit: Scott Graham

Work hard, have fun and make history.


Quote: Patriotism ruins history. by author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe overlaid on photo of bride holding bouquet standing on white stairs
Photo Credit: Maria Orlova

Patriotism ruins history.


Quote: We learn from history that we learn nothing from history. by author George Santayana overlaid on photo of green butterfly perched on purple flower
Photo Credit: Vincent van Zalinge

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.


Quote: Condemn me, it does not matter, history will absolve me. by author Fidel Castro overlaid on photo of selective focus photography of gray cat peeking at the table
Photo Credit: Biel Morro

Condemn me, it does not matter, history will absolve me.


Quote: History is merely gossip. by author Oscar Wilde overlaid on photo of shallow focus photography of person raising hand
Photo Credit: Dev Benjamin

History is merely gossip.


Quote: The historic ascent of humanity, taken as a whole, may be summarized as a succession of victories of consciousness over blind forces -- in nature, in society, in man himself. by author Leon Trotsky overlaid on photo of white swan on blue sea during daytime
Photo Credit: Birger Strahl

The historic ascent of humanity, taken as a whole, may be summarized as a succession of victories of consciousness over blind forces -- in nature, in society, in man himself.


Quote: We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today. by author Henry Ford overlaid on photo of bunch of tulips flower on wooden surface
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today.


Quote: Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it. by author Oscar Wilde overlaid on photo of brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime
Photo Credit: Brian Wangenheim

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.


Quote: History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of silhouette of mountain
Photo Credit: Elliott Engelmann

History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.


Quote: History is who we are and why we are the way we are. by author David McCullough overlaid on photo of silhouette photo of six persons on top of mountain
Photo Credit: Chang Duong

History is who we are and why we are the way we are.


Quote: Meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed. by author Clifford Geertz overlaid on photo of photo of author Clifford Geertz with quote

Meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed.


Quote: What I am is a thinking, feeling human being compelled by history. by author Avery Brooks overlaid on photo of Arizona landscape
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

What I am is a thinking, feeling human being compelled by history.


Quote: History should be written as philosophy. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of woman and man holding hands
Photo Credit: Roman Kraft

History should be written as philosophy.


Quote: What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past. by author Victor Hugo overlaid on photo of blue and white abstract painting
Photo Credit: Tamanna Rumee

What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past.


Quote: History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is. by author Thomas Jefferson overlaid on photo of shallow focus photography of brown parquet flooring
Photo Credit: Tim Mossholder

History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.


Quote: History can bring luck: this is what we can call optimism. by author Stéphane Hessel overlaid on photo of photo of author Stéphane Hessel with quote

History can bring luck: this is what we can call optimism.


Quote: History passes the final judgment. by author Sidney Poitier overlaid on photo of painting of man walking down a road holding umbrella
Photo Credit: Nick Scheerbart

History passes the final judgment.


Quote: History is a relay of revolutions. by author Saul Alinsky overlaid on photo of person holding red and beige twin bell analog alarm clock
Photo Credit: Malvestida Magazine

History is a relay of revolutions.


Quote: If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. by author Rudyard Kipling overlaid on photo of brown mountain
Photo Credit: lovely shots

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.


Quote: History is the transformation of tumultuous conquerors into silent footnotes. by author Paul Eldridge overlaid on photo of brown mountains under blue sky
Photo Credit: mohammad alizade

History is the transformation of tumultuous conquerors into silent footnotes.


Quote: Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history. by author Plato overlaid on photo of lights
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.


Quote: Fear not for the future, weep not for the past. by author Percy Bysshe Shelley overlaid on photo of photo of author Percy Bysshe Shelley with quote

Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.


Quote: A poet in history is divine, but a poet in the next room is a joke. by author Max Eastman overlaid on photo of blue wooden door opened
Photo Credit: Joaquin Paz y Miño

A poet in history is divine, but a poet in the next room is a joke.


Quote: The so-called lessons of history are for the most part the rationalizations of the victors. History is written by the survivors. by author Max Lerner overlaid on photo of red paint strokes wallpaper
Photo Credit: Chaewon Lee

The so-called lessons of history are for the most part the rationalizations of the victors. History is written by the survivors.


Quote: I love studying Ancient History and seeing how empires rise and fall, sowing the seeds of their own destruction. by author Martin Scorsese overlaid on photo of white-and-pink flowers
Photo Credit: Masaaki Komori

I love studying Ancient History and seeing how empires rise and fall, sowing the seeds of their own destruction.


Quote: We are not makers of history. We are made by history. by author Martin Luther King Jr.  overlaid on photo of photo of author Martin Luther King Jr.  with quote

We are not makers of history. We are made by history.


Quote: A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. by author Marcus Garvey overlaid on photo of pendant LED bulb
Photo Credit: Felix Steininger

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.


Quote: The historian is a prophet looking backward. by author Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel overlaid on photo of man holding banknote
Photo Credit: Travis Essinger

The historian is a prophet looking backward.


Quote: Revolutions are the locomotives of history. by author Karl Marx overlaid on photo of white cat on white textile
Photo Credit: Kanashi

Revolutions are the locomotives of history.


Quote: The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it. by author Karl Marx overlaid on photo of two silver tabby kittens
Photo Credit: Amy Baugess

The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.


Quote: The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles. by author Karl Marx overlaid on photo of sunset
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, that each time ended, either in the revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.


Quote: I came, I saw, I conquered. by author Julius Caesar overlaid on photo of feet in sand
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

I came, I saw, I conquered.


Quote: History is more or less bunk. by author Henry Ford overlaid on photo of person walking on street while holding black umbrella near cars on road at nighttime
Photo Credit: Todd Diemer

History is more or less bunk.


Quote: Historian: an unsuccessful novelist. by author H. L. Mencken overlaid on photo of photo of author H. L. Mencken with quote

Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.


Quote: History is a race between education and catastrophe. by author H. G. Wells overlaid on photo of photo of author H. G. Wells with quote

History is a race between education and catastrophe.


Quote: Every historian discloses a new horizon. by author George Sand overlaid on photo of calm body of water and mountain
Photo Credit: Jake Fagan

Every historian discloses a new horizon.


Memoirs are the backstairs of history.


Quote: The history of the past interests us only in so far as it illuminates the history of the present. by author Ernest Dimnet overlaid on photo of purple petaled flower
Photo Credit: Artiom Vallat

The history of the past interests us only in so far as it illuminates the history of the present.


Quote: Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts. by author Edward R. Murrow overlaid on photo of white cat on white textile
Photo Credit: Kanashi

Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.


Quote: We must admit that history is enjoyable to a large extent because it enables us to pass judgement on the past. by author Douglas Hurd overlaid on photo of black and gray floral textile
Photo Credit: Adrien Olichon

We must admit that history is enjoyable to a large extent because it enables us to pass judgement on the past.


Quote: If history is any indication, all truths will eventually turn out to be false. by author Dean Kamen overlaid on photo of grayscale photography of elephant
Photo Credit: Geran de Klerk

If history is any indication, all truths will eventually turn out to be false.


Quote: The pull, the attraction of history, is in our human nature. What makes us tick? Why do we do what we do? How much is luck the deciding factor? by author David McCullough overlaid on photo of gray concrete painted wall
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

The pull, the attraction of history, is in our human nature. What makes us tick? Why do we do what we do? How much is luck the deciding factor?


Quote: I believe that we must maintain pride in the knowledge that the actions we take, based on our own decisions and choices as individuals, link directly to the magnificent challenge of transforming human history. by author Daisaku Ikeda overlaid on photo of photo of author Daisaku Ikeda with quote

I believe that we must maintain pride in the knowledge that the actions we take, based on our own decisions and choices as individuals, link directly to the magnificent challenge of transforming human history.


Quote: Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both. by author C. Wright Mills overlaid on photo of photo of author C. Wright Mills with quote

Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.


Quote: Whatever we do or fail to do will influence the course of history. by author Arthur Henderson overlaid on photo of photo of author Arthur Henderson with quote

Whatever we do or fail to do will influence the course of history.


Quote: Few characters in history are indispensable. by author Albert Bushnell Hart overlaid on photo of purple petaled flower
Photo Credit: Biegun Wschodni

Few characters in history are indispensable.


Quote: False history gets made all day, any day, the truth of the new is never on the news. by author Adrienne Rich overlaid on photo of white brick wall
Photo Credit: Joe Woods

False history gets made all day, any day, the truth of the new is never on the news.


Quote: Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular. by author Aristotle overlaid on photo of chocolate
Photo Credit: eniko kis

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.


Quote: History books that contain no lies are extremely dull. by author Anatole France overlaid on photo of photo of author Anatole France with quote

History books that contain no lies are extremely dull.


Quote: History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools. by author Ambrose Bierce overlaid on photo of photo of author Ambrose Bierce with quote

History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.


Quote: History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. by author Alexis de Tocqueville overlaid on photo of photo of author Alexis de Tocqueville with quote

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.


Quote: The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different. by author Aldous Huxley overlaid on photo of green and brown plant on white wall
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.


Quote: Our history is not our destiny. by author Alan Cohen overlaid on photo of clear drinking glass with beer on black table
Photo Credit: Thais Do Rio

Our history is not our destiny.


Quote: To understand a science, it is necessary to know its history. by author Auguste Comte overlaid on photo of photo of author Auguste Comte with quote

To understand a science, it is necessary to know its history.


Quote: I go into my library and all history unrolls before me. by author Alexander Smith overlaid on photo of person holding brown sand close-up photography
Photo Credit: Kunj Parekh

I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.


Quote: Human blunders usually do more to shape history than human wickedness. by author A. J. P. Taylor overlaid on photo of photo of author A. J. P. Taylor with quote

Human blunders usually do more to shape history than human wickedness.


stack of six brown hardbound books

Popular Curated Collections

Nature

Beauty

Cute

Be Positive

Flower

Self-Discovery

bell-hooks

Gratitude

Hope

Productivity

Creativity

 


Thank you for checking out our selection of quotes on history! Please consider sharing and also connect with us on social media. Wishing you a wonderful, fortunate day that makes history!