Remarks at Modesto, California

May 18, 1903

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am very glad to catch this glimpse of you. I have passed four delightful days in your mountains up there in the Yosemite and I cannot say how much I have enjoyed them, but I have enjoyed even more my entire trip through California and the courtesy and hospitality with which I have been received. It has been a great pleasure to me to come from the East to the West, then west of the West to California, and to see your wonderful State. And while I have enjoyed it all, enjoyed seeing the soil and the climate, enjoyed witnessing the abounding prosperity that you have succeeded in making, the thing that I have enjoyed most has been seeing the men and women, the citizens of California, for that is what counts most in the long run. The soil and the climate will not count for anything if the people have not got it in them to take advantage of the soil and climate. I think I came to California a middling good American and I will go away a better American. It has been the greatest pleasure to see you all. [Applause]

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks at Modesto, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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