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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)
QUOTATION: The republic is a dream
Nothing happens unless first a dream.
ATTRIBUTION: CARL SANDBURG, “Washington Monument by Night,” stanza 4, The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, rev. and expanded ed., p. 282 (1970).

President Ronald Reagan quoted this before a joint session of Congress, April 28, 1981, and added: “As Carl Sandburg said, all we need to begin with is a dream that we can do better than before. All we need to have is faith, and that dream will come true. All we need to do is act, and the time for action is now.”—Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan, 1981, p. 394.