A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 10, 2012
“Pessimism never won any battle”

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) said in July 1955:

“We cannot look at this whole situation with out realizing first that pessimism never won any battle, whether it was in peace or whether it was in war.”

“Pessimism never won any battle” has become a widely known Eisenhower quotation, but he wasn’t the first to say that about pessimism. Rear Admiral Albert S. Baker (1845-1916) said in 1901, “Pessimism never won a battle; pessimism never made a hero; pessimism is death.”


Wikipedia: Albert S. Barker
Albert Smith Barker (March 31, 1845 – January 30, 1916) was an admiral in the United States Navy who served during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

23 February 1901, New York (NY) Times, “Cincinnati Society Dinner,” pg. 7, col. 3:
Rear Admiral Barker, speaking to the toast, “Our Navy,” said in part:

“We look to you who are bundled together in these patriotic societies to keep the fires of patriotism burning. We look to you to affect the deadly influence of pessimism. Pessimism never won a battle; pessimism never made a hero; pessimism is death.”

Google Books
25 April 1901, The Pharmaceutical Era, pg. 448 col. 1:
Above all preserve your hopefulness and enthusiasm. Pessimism never won a victory or worked a reform. The world never yet erected a monument to a pessimist and never will.

22 November 1917, Duluth (MN) News Tribune, “Too Frivolous,” pg. 6, col. 1:
Pessimism never won a battle, much less a war. Optimism makes all things bearable, and takes much of the shock of sacrifice when it comes.

3 December 1917, Illinois State Register (Springfield, IL), pg. 4, col. 1:
“Pessimism never won a war,” says Admiral Knight. No, but it certainly has done its share to help the other fellow win it.

1 February 1921, St. Johnsbury Evening Caledonian and Newport-Record (St. Johnsbury and Newport, VT), “Don’t Be a Gloomy Gus,” pg. 4, col. 1:
Pessimism never won anything. Gloom is a thing of the grave; it is not for the living man with a future before him.
(This article can be found in another newspaper that is available in Chronicling America—ed.)

6 December 1926, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, “Look Toward Sunrise Turner Tells Flock,” pg. 7, col. 3:
“Pessimism never won any battles, and a knocker never won a victory in the game of life,” continued Dr. Turner as he related the story of how the captain of one of America’s best football teams put his best player off the team one day during the hardest part of the season because the fellow was a knocker and did more harm with his pessimistic and knocking talking than he did good with his fine playing.
(Dr. J. Clyde Turner, pastor of the First Baptist church—ed.)

28 January 1941, Rockford (IL) Register-Republic, pg. 6, col. 3:
Former Governor Lowden reminds us that pessimism never won a pennant.

Google News Archive
16 July 1955, New London (CT) Evening Day, pg. 1, col. 8:
Eisenhower, En Route
To Geneva, Answers
Comment by Bulganin

WASHINGTON (AP)—President Eisenhower flew across the Atlantic today toward a Big Four conference at Geneva after expressing hope that mankind’s greatest step toward peace and propserity may be taken there in the next few fateful days.
(...)
“We Want Peace”
“We want peace. We cannot look at this whole situation with out realizing first that pessimism never won any battle, whether it was in peace or whether it was in war.”

Google Books
If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates
By Jim Hightower
New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers
2000
Pg. ?:
General Eisenhower said, “Pessimism never won any battle.” He was right. Pessimism visualizes defeat. What we visualize, we bring forth. Carl Sandburg wrote: “Nothing happens unless first a dream.”

Google Books
Words That Work:
It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear

By Frank I. Luntz
New York, NY: Hyperion
2007
Pg. 220:
Dwight Eisenhower: “Pessimism never won any battle.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, December 10, 2012 • Permalink