A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 28, 2014
“Government is like fire; when controlled, it warms you”

"Government is like (a) fire” is a quotation frequently credited to George Washington (1732-1799), but there’s no evidence that he said it.  “Government is like a fire, which if it is properly controlled, will light your homes and cook your food and run your factories, but if it is not controlled it will destroy you” was credited to Washington in 1963. “Government is like a fire, useful in the fireplace, but if it gets out of its place, it will consume everything you own” was credited to Washington in 2005. “Government is a fire. When controlled, it warms you. When it is your master, it burns all in sight” was credited to Washington in 2014.

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master” is a similar quotation that is incorrectly credited to George Washington.


13 July 1963, Indiana (PA) Evening Gazette, “Change Not Progress” by William L. Ingersoll, pg. 6, col. 1:
George Washington expressed it this way: “Government is like a fire, which if it is properly controlled, will light your homes and cook your food and run your factories, but if it is not controlled it will destroy you.”

5 September 1963, San Diego (CA) Union, “Reader’s Viewpoint,” pg. B-2, col. 6:
George Washington once said: “Government is like fire, which, if properly controlled, will light your homes and run your factories, but if not controlled, it will destroy you.”
(Letter by Tom B. Little.—ed.)

20 September 1966, San Diego (CA) Union, “Big Government Robs Citizens” by Robert Burnham Watts, pg. B-2, col. 3:
George Washington sounded the same warning when he said, “Government is like a fire, which—if it is not controlled, will destroy you.”

22 June 1967, Lubbock (TX) Avalanche-Journal, “Plains Farming” by Duane Howell, pg. 4-C, col. 2:
An American statesman of great vision once remarked:

‘Government is like a fire which, if it is properly controlled, will light your homes and cook your food and run your factories; but if it is not controlled, it will destroy you.”

21 June 1977, Paris (TX) News, “‘Liberty Bill’ loses in Congress 25th time” by Tom Tiede (Newspaper Enterprise Association), pg. 7, cols. 1-2:
He felt, as had George Washington, that “Government is like a fire, which, if it is properly controlled will light your homes and cook your food and run your factories, but if it is not controlled it will destroy you.”

100777.com
ADL’s New ‘Hate Bill’ The Death Knell For Talk Radio
created 30/09/2005 - 19:34, updated 30/09/2005 - 19:41 by cybe
(...)
“Government is like a fire, useful in the fireplace, but if it gets out of its place, it will consume everything you own” George Washington

Concealed Carry Forum
PackerDon
Posted - 01/31/2006 :  10:31:49
(...)
“Government is like a fire, useful in the fireplace, but if it gets out of its place, it will consume everything you own” George Washington

Open Salon—Writing Raven
SEPTEMBER 19, 2008 6:07AM
Todd Palin and his heritage
(...)
COMMENTS
Alex Ricciuti
SEPTEMBER 20, 2008 12:59 PM
(...)
I think George Washington said, “Government is like fire. Contained in a fireplace, it warms you, gives off light and can be used to cook your food, but when it is allowed to grow and leave the containment of the fireplace, it will burn your whole house down.

Moving Forward...
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2008
Government is like a fire...
Government is like a fire. Fire can be a good thing. Fire can keep you warm at night, it can cook food, it can ward of predators, and so on. However, fire can grow out of control to become a destructive force that burns homes, forest, and destroy life. Fire is a power that must be controlled in order for it to be enjoyed. In much the same way, Government is like a fire. Government can protect our freedoms, it can protect us from aggressive countries, it can produce infrastructure for commerce, and so on. As well, Government can grow out of control to become a destructive force that over taxes, removes freedom, crushes commerce, and so on.

Twitter
Mason Alexander Cobb
‏@MasonACobb
Government is like a fire, useful in the fireplace, but if it gets out of it’s place, it will consume everything you own. -George Washington
1:07 AM - 27 Dec 2011

Twitter
Bails
‏@BailofRights
“Government is like a fire, if you control it, it can benefit. If you don’t, it burns everything down” - @glennbeck @GBTV
4:25 PM - 24 May 2012

Twitter
Ken Anderson
‏@mrkenanderson
“Government is like a fire. If you control it, it’s a benefit. If it controls you, it’ll burn EVERYTHING to the ground.” George Washington
9:37 PM - 24 May 2012

Twitter
LibertyCallsYouOut
‏@DwightRobertsJr
Government is like a FIRE: A useful tool if held at bay, but can easily grow & bring destruction. #tcot #gop #IRS #DOJ #GOP2016Slogans
9:03 PM - 13 May 2013

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COMMENTS
arizonarebel • 10 days ago −
“Government is like fire: when controlled, it warms you-when it is your master, it burns all in sight.” - George Washington

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arizonarebel • 6 days ago −
“Government is a fire. When controlled, it warms you. When it is your master, it burns all in sight.” - George Washington

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Tuesday, January 28, 2014 • Permalink