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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)
QUOTATION: You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”
ATTRIBUTION: GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Back to Methuselah, act I, Selected Plays with Prefaces, vol. 2, p. 7 (1949). The serpent says these words to Eve.

President John F. Kennedy quoted these words in his address to the Irish Parliament, Dublin, June 28, 1963.—Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 537.

Senator Robert F. Kennedy used a similar quotation as a theme of his 1968 campaign for the presidential nomination: “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.” Senator Edward M. Kennedy quoted these words of Robert Kennedy’s in his eulogy for his brother in 1968.—The New York Times, June 9, 1968, p. 56.