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July 4 Notable Births, with Quotes

Published by: Carolyn Brooks Fleming on Jul 3, 2022.

Explore memorable and revealing quotes from public figures, past and present, who were born on July 4.

Neil Simon, playwright and screenwriter (July 4, 1927–August 26, 2018)

“I think about thematic plays but I don’t believe I write them. Nothing really takes shape until I become specific about the character and the dilemma he’s in. Dilemma is the key word. It is always a dilemma, not a situation. To tell the truth, I really don’t know what the theme of the play is until I’ve written it and the critics tell me.” —Neil Simon
Lipton, James. “Neil Simon, The Art of Theater No. 10.” The Paris Review, Winter 1992, https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1994/the-art-of-theater-no-10-neil-simon.

“I’ve got infinitely more plays in the drawer than have seen the lights of the stage. Most of them never come out of the drawer, but occasionally one will and it amazes me how long it has taken to germinate and blossom.” —Neil Simon
Lipton, James. “Neil Simon, The Art of Theater No. 10.” The Paris Review, Winter 1992, https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1994/the-art-of-theater-no-10-neil-simon.

Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby, nee Pauline Phillips), advice columnist (July 4, 1918–January 16, 2013)

“If the boy is old enough to get a tattoo he is old enough to go alone.” —Abigail Van Buren
Coley, Sam. “Abigail Van Buren Turns 100: Her 10 Best Pieces of Advice and One-Liners.” Parade, July 4, 2018, https://parade.com/683199/samanthacoley/abigail-van-buren-turns-100-her-10-best-pieces-of-advice-and-one-liners/.

“If either the bride or groom has second thoughts about their feelings, it would be far better to call the wedding off. While it may cause the other party to be upset, in the long run, it would be far better for all concerned.” —Abigail Van Buren
Van Buren, Abigail. “Better to Lose Wedding Costs Than to Gain Abusive Spouse.” UExpress, June 14, 1996, https://www.uexpress.com/life/dearabby/1996/06/12.

Esther Pauline Lederer (Ann Landers), advice columnist (July 4, 1918–June 22, 2002)

“I am opposed to sending a guy in the service a Dear John. Wait until he gets home and tell him to his face.” —Ann Landers
Landers, Ann. “Press clipping from an Ann Landers column about a deaf family member. July 10, 1971.” American Foundation for the Blind, Jul 10, 1971, https://www.afb.org/HelenKellerArchive?a=d&d=A-HK02-B229-F02-006&e=------194-en-20--1--txt--speeches------3-7-6-5-3---39%3A+Travel%3A+1948+to+1949---No------Melrose%2C+A.+J.--0-1.

“The success of a party does not depend on what you put on the table—but who you put on the chairs.” —Ann Landers
Landers, Ann. “Press clipping from an Ann Landers column about a deaf family member. July 10, 1971.” American Foundation for the Blind, Jul 10, 1971, https://www.afb.org/HelenKellerArchive?a=d&d=A-HK02-B229-F02-006&e=------194-en-20--1--txt--speeches------3-7-6-5-3---39%3A+Travel%3A+1948+to+1949---No------Melrose%2C+A.+J.--0-1.

Rube Goldberg, cartoonist (July 4, 1883–December 7, 1970)

“I didn't have any real art training, but when I was about twelve and thirteen, another boy and I went to a sign painter's house every Friday night and took lessons. He was a good painter; he was a sign painter because he had to make a living, and we used to go there and, oh, I enjoyed that tremendously.” —Rube Goldberg
Nathan, Emily. “Transcript of interview with Rube Goldberg.” Smithsonian Archives of American Art, 1970, https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/items/detail/transcript-interview-rube-goldberg-22873.

“It's a very fortunate thing to have the right talent to give at the right time.” —Rube Goldberg
Nathan, Emily. “Transcript of interview with Rube Goldberg.” Smithsonian Archives of American Art, 1970, https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/items/detail/transcript-interview-rube-goldberg-22873.

Calvin Coolidge, former US president (July 4, 1872–January 5, 1933)

“Our country has one cardinal principle to maintain in its foreign policy. It is an American principle. It must be an American policy. We attend to our own affairs, conserve our own strength, and protect the interests of our own citizens; but we recognize thoroughly our obligation to help others, reserving to the decision of our own judgment the time, the place, and the method. We realize the common bond of humanity. We know the inescapable law of service.” —Calvin Coolidge
Coolidge, Calvin. “First Annual Message to the Congress.” Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, December 6, 1923, https://coolidgefoundation.org/resources/first-annual-message-to-the-congress/.

“Our foreign policy has always been guided by two principles. The one is the avoidance of permanent political alliances which would sacrifice our proper independence. The other is the peaceful settlement of controversies between nations.” —Calvin Coolidge
Coolidge, Calvin. “First Annual Message to the Congress.” Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, December 6, 1923, https://coolidgefoundation.org/resources/first-annual-message-to-the-congress/.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, novelist (July 4, 1804–May 19, 1864)

“We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.” —Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Scarlet Letter.” Project Gutenberg, October 19, 2021, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25344/25344-h/25344-h.htm.

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” —Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Scarlet Letter.” Project Gutenberg, October 19, 2021, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25344/25344-h/25344-h.htm.

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