I’m back to inviting readers to submit quotations whose origins they want me to try to trace, using my book, The Yale Book of Quotations, and my more recent research.
James Curran asked:
Considering the unrest in the Middle East, I’m reminded of this widely attributed saying. Can you track down by whom and about whom the following statement was first made? “He’s a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s OUR son-of-a-bitch.”
This is usually attributed to Franklin Roosevelt. The earliest version I know of is the following:
To prime President Roosevelt for the visit, Sumner Welles sent him a long solemn memorandum about Somoza and Nicaragua. According to a story told around Washington, Roosevelt read the memo right through, wisecracked: “As a Nicaraguan might say, he’s a sonofabitch but he’s ours.”
Time, Nov. 15, 1948
Maybe one of the talented researchers who are among our regular commenters can find earlier evidence.
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?