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.

Recent entries:
“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died” (10/20)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/20)
“Work for a cause, not for applause” (10/20)
Gaphattan (Gap + Manhattan) (10/20)
“Welcome to New York. Duck, Mother Fucker!” (10/20)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from August 03, 2014
“He who opens a school door, closes a prison gate”

"He who opens a school, closes a prison” has been credited to French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885) since at least 1890. In the 2000s, the variation “He who opens a school door, closes a prison” and then “He who opens a school door, closes a prison gate” became popular.

The following was cited in print in 1875, credited to Hippolyte Laroche:

Qu’ils donnent à l’esprit un plus large horizon :
Où l’on ouvre une école , on ferme une prison !



Wikiquote:  Talk:Victor Hugo
He who opens a school door closes a prison
Widely attributed to Hugo but I cannot find textual evidence. If it was said but not written, then who kept up the oral tradition until someone attributed it to Hugo? Do we at least know the first time it was attributed to Hugo?

There is a brief discussion on this quote on another page (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Reference_desk_archive/Humanities/2006_August_10#Victor_Hugo_Quote ), but since it’s one of the more employed quotations (at least here in California during our current education vs. prison budget priority crisis) I think it’s a good investment for Wikiquote to search for some sort of legitimate attribution. If not Hugo, does someone else deserve credit, or was it hearsay until someone decided to write it down as an alleged Hugo quote and it’s stayed that way ever since? 173.164.183.149 09:07, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia: Reference desk archives/Humanities
Victor Hugo Quote
(...)
. It’s not (in this form) in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, and also not in Pierre Ripert’s Dictionnaire des Citations de la Langue Française. It may be one of those made-up quotations that keep circulating. --LambiamTalk 21:53, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
. Given the density of attribution on google, I think it’s legitimate, but I think it’s just something he said, probably not from one of his works. I couldn’t find the context, though. --Bmk 03:40, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
. Google books gives inconsistent attributions to the french terms in different books, as “la maxime - une école qui ouvre, c’est une prison qui ferme”, “paroles de Victor Hugo - Quiconque ouvre une école, ferme une prison.”, “le proverbe arabe - Chaque fois qu’on ouvre une école, on ferme une prison” (unless Hugo came from Arabia that night). It is maybe in his book Choses vues ?—DLL .. T 16:45, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Google Books
Mémoires et publications de la Société des sciences, des arts et des lettres du Hainaut
1875

By Société des sciences, des arts et des lettres du Hainaut
1876
Pg. 49:
BOURGEOIS ET PEUPLE.
Pg. 52:
Qu’ils s’appliquent surtout à chasser l’ignorance,
Cette source du crime et de l’intolérance;
Qu’ils donnent à l’esprit un plus large horizon :
Où l’on ouvre une école , on ferme une prison !
(...)
HIPPOLYTE LAROCHE.

Google Books
Le Correspondant: religion, philosophie, politique, sciences, litterature, beaux-arts
23 April 1890
Pg. 492:
On sait que Victor Hugo aimait à. dire qu’en ouvrant une école on ferme une prison, ...

Google Books
Espérance: Un réveil de l’idée religieuse en France
By Louis Baunard
Paris: Librairie Ch. Poussielgue
1892
Pg. 75:
On avait ditpompeusement: « Qui ouvre une école ferme une prison. » C’était Victor Hugo qui avaitprononcé cet oracle grandiose.

Google Books
Abnormal Man, Being Essays on Education and Crime and Related Subjects, With DIgests of Literature and a Bibliography
By Arthur MacDonald
Washington, DC: Government Printing Office
1893
Pg. 15:
Victor Hugo liked to say that he who opens a school closes a prison. But Proal says many schools have been opened, but no prisons closed; criminality has not diminished while education has increased.

Chronicling America
11 December 1894, Southwest Sentinel (Silver City, NM), “Popular Education and Crime,” pg. 2, col. 2:
They are seemingly proofs positive of Victor Hugo’s saying. quoted by him, that “he who opens a school closes a prison.”

Google Books
The Use of Life
By Sir John Lubbock
New York, NY: Macmillan and Co.
1895
Pg. 97:
Victor Hugo well said that “he who opens a school, closes a prison.”

Google Books
The Quotable Teacher
Edited by Randy Howe
Guilford, CT: Lyons Press
2003
Pg. 51:
He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
VICTOR HUGO (1802-1885)

Daily Trust (Nigeria)
Christian charity donates classrooms to FCT
Published on Sunday, 17 January 2010 01:00 H
It was singing, dancing and praises to the almighty God last Friday in the rustic Durumi village of Bwari Area Council, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as a Christian charity organisation, Tabitha Cumi Foundation donated classrooms to the community.
(...)
She left the podium with the philosophical saying that says, “...he who opens a school door closes a prison gate.”

Twitter
Nanice
‏@itsmenanice
“He who opens a school door, closes a #prison” Victor Hugo
The opposite in #US. We close schools & open prisons. pic.twitter.com/t1pvZSDOZ4
1:03 PM - 19 Oct 2013

Kashmir Reader
HC orders shutting down of ETT colleges lacking infrastructure
Monday, 4 August 2014 0:08 Written by: Marouf Ahmad Parray
(...)
In the 20-page judgment, the bench also made strong observations, highlighting the importance of education and role of teachers.

“He who opens a school door, closes a prison gate,” is an old adage, the court said, observing that education helps one to shape up into a responsible and law abiding individual, ready to make fruitful contribution to the society.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Sunday, August 03, 2014 • Permalink