Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Twenty-Five Most Memorable Quotes According to USA Today

Every now and then someone makes a statement that becomes a catch phrase or captures an event, phenomenon, or a particular time or era in popular culture. USA Today reporters and editors compiled a list of the 25 most memorable quotes over the last quarter of a century to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the publication. Is your favorite quote among these or do you have another one from the last twenty-five years that sticks out in your mind.

1"Let's roll."
Todd Beamer, Sept. 11, 2001, just before he and other passengers attacked terrorists controlling United Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field. The White House may have been the target.

2"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
President Reagan, June 12, 1987, appealing to the Soviet leader to remove the Berlin Wall that divided East and West German sectors. It fell in 1989.

3"If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."
Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, Sept. 27, 1995, arguing that a glove used as murder evidence in the O.J. Simpson trial was too small.

4"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
President Clinton, Jan. 26, 1998, at a White House news conference.

5"You've got mail!"
America Online, 1989. The voice, which still greets users, is El Edwards, the husband of an AOL customer service representative.

6"Read my lips: no new taxes."
George H.W. Bush, Aug. 18, 1988, accepting the GOP presidential nomination in New Orleans. A tax hike later in his presidency was a factor in his loss for re-election.

7"Obviously a major malfunction."
Steve Nesbitt, NASA public affairs officer, Jan. 28, 1986, shortly after the space shuttle Challenger exploded.

8"How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values?"
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Dec. 5, 1996, interpreted as a warning that stocks were too high. Markets plunged briefly the next morning.

9"You can't handle the truth!"
Actor Jack Nicholson as Col. Nathan Jessup in the 1992 film A Few Good Men.

10"I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
Democratic vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, debating Republican Dan Quayle in Omaha on Oct. 5, 1988.

11"Just say no."
Nancy Reagan's anti-drug campaign slogan, 1983.

12"I want to focus on my salad."
Martha Stewart, June 25, 2002, on CBS' The Early Show, when questioned about the probe into her stock dealings.

13"Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?"
Former Labor secretary Raymond Donovan, May 25, 1987, after being acquitted of fraud charges.

14"Keep hope alive."
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, July 19, 1988, in a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta.

15"I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."
President Bush, Sept. 14, 2001, addressing police, firefighters and rescue workers at Ground Zero.

16"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."
Vice President Cheney, March 16, 2003, on NBC's Meet the Press, describing how Iraqis will react when U.S. troops topple Saddam Hussein.

17"One more thing."
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, 1999. He uses the phrase before unveiling products such as the iMac and iPod at computer shows.

18"Don't give up. Don't ever give up. "
Former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano, March 4, 1993, accepting an ESPY Award shortly before he died of cancer.

19"It takes a village to raise a child."
Hillary Rodham Clinton in her 1996 book, borrowing from an African proverb.

20"I'd run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl."
Russ Grimm, 1984, a Washington Redskin who ended his career as a player with three Super Bowl rings.

21"You gotta fight for your right to party. "
The Beastie Boys, 1986, in the song Fight For Your Right.

22"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"
Rodney King, May 1, 1992, after the acquittal of Los Angeles police in his beating trial sparked widespread rioting.

24"I can't deny the fact that you like me! Right now, you like me!"
Sally Field, March 25, 1985,. accepting the Best Actress Oscar for Places in the Heart.

25"Not that there's anything wrong with that."
Jerry Seinfeld, Feb. 11, 1993, in the episode The Outing, later used whenever a gay character was discussed on the show.


X. Dell said...

PJ, glad to see you have a blog of your very own that I can visit.

Looking at this list, it would seem that only USA Today would come up with a list like this. It completely passes over such embarrassing quotes as "Mission Accomplished," and "Shock and awe."

pjazzypar said...

Hey x.dell,

How nice of you to stop by. You are right, they missed some of the more unsettling quotes. After posting I thought of some more quotes that could have been added in lieu of some of the ones used.

Lori said...

Thought-provoking. The "keep hope alive" one by Jesse Jackson is interesting. Beyond all of the rhyming and what have you, JJ really is an excellent speaker (smile).

I still remember the "I Am Somebody" speech he gave at the historically Black college (LeMoyne-Owen) I attended in the '80s. Talk about inspirational. Thinking about it, all of these yeras later, still gives me chills.

pjazzypar said...


Jessie Jackson can sometimes really turn a phrase, for instance, "It cheaper to send a man to Penn State than to the state pen". So you actually heard him speak? That's awesome. I have heard the "I Am Somebody" speech several times via the media; however it's nothing like being there.

Malcolm: said...

One that comes to mind is "I don't believe what I just saw!", which was uttered by Jack Buck when Kirk Gibson hit the game-winning homer to help the Dodgers defeat the A's in game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

Mes Deux Cents said...


How about "Houston, we have a problem".