The Most Famous Words Ever Told From Historical Figures Across the World

People have always been fascinated by the last words of others, and here are some of the most famous last words in history, curated by the Onswish review team.

1.“A dying man can do nothing easily.” ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) Founding father, author, scientist, inventor and statesman.

2.“I need no doctor. I can overcome my own troubles.” ~ Andrew Johnson (1808 – 1875) 17th U.S. President.

3.“Wait a second.” ~ Jeanne Antoinette de Pompadour (1721 – 1764) Member of the French court and mistress of Louis XV.

4.“Pardon me, Sir, I did not do it on purpose.” ~ Queen Marie Antoinette after she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner as she went to the guillotine.

5.“No, you certainly can’t.” ~ John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) 35th US President.

6.“I’m Finished,I don’t even trust myself…” ~ Joseph Stalin

7.“France , armée, tête d’armée, Joséphine” This translates to France, Army, Head of the Army, Joséphine. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

8.Rome’s first Emperor, Caesar’s adopted heir, Augustus’s last words were: “I found Rome in clay, I left it in marble.”

9.Winston Churchill:“I’m bored with it all.”

10.Alexander the Great’s last words were said to be “To the strongest.”

For more great historical content, check out Onswish today.

Inspirational Quotes by Powerful Women in History

Throughout history, women have been working hard to ensure that the female voice is heard. These quotes on being a woman curated by the Onswish review team demonstrate how women have gone the extra mile to gain equality and advocate for a better world.

“Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men.” – Katherine Johnson, mathematician and one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist

“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.” – Serena Williams, professional tennis player who has won more singles titles than any man or woman

“We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.” – Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and first woman nominated for U.S. president by a major political party

“Women should do for themselves what men have already done—occasionally what men have not done—thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action.” – Amelia Earhart, first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” – Ruth Bader Ginsberg, second female justice appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

For more great historical content, check out Onswish today.

History quotes to keep inspiring you

Read these famous history quotes and get drawn into the realms of the past, curated by the Onswish review team.

“To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning.” – Hermann Hesse

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

“History is a relay of revolutions.” – Saul Alinsky

“I do not speak Hebrew, but I understand that it has no word for ‘history’. The closest word for it is memory.” – David Miliband

“Blood alone moves the wheels of history.” – Martin Luther

“Revolutions are the locomotives of history.” – Karl Marx

“Black history is American history.” – Morgan Freeman

“History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.” – Karl Vonnegut

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

“People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.” – G.K. Chesterton

“The only history is a mere question of one’s struggle inside oneself. But that is the joy of it. One need neither discover Americas nor conquer nations, and yet one has as great a work as Columbus or Alexander, to do.” – D.H. Lawrence

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

“History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions.” – Ted Coppell

“Certain periods in history suddenly lift humanity to an observation point where a clear light falls upon a world previously dark.” – Anne Sullivan

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” – Winston Churchill

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” – Robert Kennedy

“Anyone who believes you can’t change history has never tried to write his memoirs.” – David Ben Gurion

“We are all tourists in history, and irony is what we win in wars.” – Anatole Broyard

“It is not history which uses men as a means of achieving – as if it were an individual person – its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends.” – Karl Marx

“I’ve been completely fascinated with history because it tells everything about what’s going to happen next because it’s cyclical, everything repeats in general.”– Emile Autumn

“It had long come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“On the day when man told the story of his life to man, history was born.” – Alfred de Vigny

For more great history content, check out Onswish today.

History quotes from great historians

Read these famous history quotes and get drawn into the realms of the past, curated by the Onswish review team.

“To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture.”

Author: Oscar Wilde

“There is a history in all men’s lives.”

Author: William Shakespeare

“A page of history is worth a pound of logic.”

Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes

“In our wildest aberrations we dream of an equilibrium we have left behind and which we naively expect to find at the end of our errors. Childish presumption which justifies the fact that child-nations, inheriting our follies, are now directing our history.”

Author: Albert Camus

“History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten.”

Author: George Santayana

“For historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future.”

Author: Cervantes

“To believe what has not occurred in history will not occur at all, is to argue disbelief in the dignity of man.”

Author: Gandhi

For plenty more great historical content, check out Onswish today.

The Most Powerful Quotes and Famous Sayings In History

Throughout history, there have been great moments and inspiring people that build an awesome legacy, that can still inspire people to this day. There are a lot of words of wisdom and famous sayings we can learn from, and here are just some of the best curated by the Onswish review team.

1. “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

2. “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank

3. “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” – Alexander the Great

4. “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” – William Shakespeare

5. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

6. “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci

7. “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” – George Washington

8. “A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” – Richard Nixon

9. “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.” – Che Guevara

10. “A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines.” – Benjamin Franklin

11. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

12. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

13. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X

14. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

15. “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” – Sigmund Freud

16. “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee

17. “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.” – Galileo Galilei

18. “When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” – Henry J. Kaiser

19. “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

20. “No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.” – Isaac Newton

For plenty more historical content, check out Onswish today.

Inspirational History Quotes

Take a moment to enjoy these history quotes from famous folks, curated by the Onswish review team.

Our history is not our destiny. Alan Cohen

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

The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler. Franz Kafka

On the day when man told the story of his life to man, history was born. Alfred de Vigny

Work hard, have fun and make history. Jeff Bezos

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

Every renaissance comes to the world with a cry, the cry of the human spirit to be free. Anne Sullivan

History speaks to artists. It changes the artist’s thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images. Anselm Kiefer

What does the artist do? He draws connections. He ties the invisible threads between things. He dives into history, be it the history of mankind, the geological history of the Earth or the beginning and end of the manifest cosmos. Anselm Kiefer

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

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

The only history is a mere question of one’s struggle inside oneself. But that is the joy of it. One need neither discover Americas nor conquer nations, and yet one has as great a work as Columbus or Alexander, to do. D. H. Lawrence

Live out of your imagination, not your history. Stephen Covey

It had long come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. Leonardo da Vinci

History is the present. That’s why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth. E. L. Doctorow

Today is either the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning. Today we are making history. Eckhard Pfeiffer

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

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

If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. Grace Murray Hopper, inventor of the COBOL computer language

What fascinates me are the turning points where history could have been different. Hilary Mantel

Alternate history fascinates me, as it fascinates all novelists, because ‘What if?’ is the big thing. Kate Atkinson

If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. Michael Crichton

Whether in commerce, science, or politics — history remembers the artists. Naval Ravikant

For plenty more history content, be sure to check out Onswish today.

Top History Quotes

Be inspired by these top history quotes curated by the Onswish review team.

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.

Aldous Huxley

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: ‘President Can’t Swim.’

Lyndon B. Johnson

There are no extraordinary men… just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.

William Halsey

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

James Baldwin

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

Alexis de Tocqueville

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.

Napoleon Bonaparte

History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.

John Dalberg-Acton

Brilliant History Quotes Guaranteed To Inspire You

Be inspired by these great quotes from inspirational athletes, artists, politicians and more, curated by the Onswish review team.

I can’t change history, I don’t want to change history. I can only change the future. I’m working on that. Boris Becker

Many of the greatest crimes in history were caused not by hatred, but rather by indifference. They were caused by people who could have done something, but did not even bother lifting a finger. So don’t wait. Get out there. Go and vote. Yuval Noah Harari

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. Karl Marx

History is a set of lies agreed upon. Napoleon Bonaparte

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

Be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we don’t have is the will, and that’s not a reason that history will accept. Bono

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. B. C. Forbes

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. Daisaku Ikeda

There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made. Michelle Obama

Life moves fast. As much as you can, learn from your history, you have to move forward. Eddie Vedder

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. Henry Ford

To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning. Hermann Hesse

History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul. Lord Acton
Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity. Hermann Hesse

History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this. Karl Marx

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. Leon Trotsky

The history of the world is the biography of the great man. And I said: The great man always act like a thunder. He storms the skies, while others are waiting to be stormed. Thomas Carlyle

Psychology keeps trying to vindicate human nature. History keeps undermining the effort. Mason Cooley

For the very best in history content, check out Onswish and sign up today.

Deep History Quotes

If you are looking for some great quotes on history to dig into, look no further than these words curated by the Onswish review team.

Freedom has no history. Andrew Cohen Click to tweet

The people who have really made history are the martyrs. Aleister Crowley

History reports that the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all. Will Durant

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

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. Annie Besant

Reason is the historian, but passions are the actors. Antoine Rivarol

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

You cannot amputate your history from your destiny, because that is redemption. Beth Moore

Meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed. Clifford Geertz

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? David McCullough

History is information. Memory is part of your identity. David Miliband

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

If history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth. E. O. Wilson

Isn’t history ultimately the result of our fear of boredom? Emile M. Cioran

Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood? Carl Jung

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

Memoirs are the backstairs of history. George Meredith

Universal history is the history of a few metaphors. Jorge Luis Borges

Each one writes history according to his convenience. Jose Rizal

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

It is not history which uses men as a means of achieving – as if it were an individual person – its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends. Karl Marx

For more great dramatic reads and eBooks, check out Onswish.

Biographies of famous people in history

If you are looking for some great biographies to dig into, look no further than these books curated by the Onswish review team.

Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang

Though many of us will be familiar with the name Mao Zedong, this prodigious biography sheds unprecedented light upon the power-hungry “Red Emperor.” Chang and Halliday begin with the shocking statistic that Mao was responsible for 70 million deaths during peacetime — more than any other twentieth-century world leader. From there, they unravel Mao’s complex ideologies, motivations, and missions, breaking down his long-propagated “hero” persona and thrusting forth a new, grislier image of one of China’s most significant revolutionaries.

Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts

Here’s another bio that will reshape your views of a famed historical tyrant, though this time in a surprisingly favourable light. Decorated scholar Andrew Roberts delves into the life of Napoleon Bonaparte, from his near-flawless military instincts to his complex and confusing relationship with his wife. But Roberts’ attitude toward his subject is what makes this work shine: rather than ridiculing him, he approaches the “petty tyrant” with a healthy amount of deference.

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson IV by Robert A. Caro

Lyndon Johnson might not seem as intriguing or scandalous as figures like Kennedy, Nixon, or W. Bush. But in this expertly woven biography, Robert Caro lays out the long, winding road of his political career, and it’s full of twists you wouldn’t expect. Johnson himself was a surprisingly cunning figure, gradually maneuvering his way closer and closer to power. Finally, in 1963, he got his greatest wish — but at what cost? Fans of Adam McKay’s Vice, this is the book for you.

For more great dramatic reads and eBooks, check out Onswish.