Churchill Society News
Leadership Transition Under Way at The International Churchill Society and The National Churchill Library and Center
Friday, 7 December 2018
Washington, D.C. Since opening in 2016, The National Churchill Library and Center (NCLC) at The George Washington University (GW) has established itself as an important part of the GW community and the broader world of Churchill scholarship and studies. As the NCLC moves into its next stage, Michael F. Bishop has stepped down as Director of the NCLC and Executive Director of The International Churchill Society (ICS).
GW and ICS will commence a comprehensive international search for a suitable replacement to carry the NCLC through its next stage of growth and development and to maintain the ICS position as the leading Churchill member organization worldwide.
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“Nothing makes a man more reverent than a library,” so claimed Winston Churchill.
A new exhibition, Winston Churchill: A Legacy of Leadership, featuring nearly 70 items from America’s National Churchill Museum opened Saturday, November 17 at the Midland County Library in Midland, Texas.
The extensive exhibition contains original letters, photographs, documents, paintings, and other items from the National Churchill Museum and private collections.
The exhibition also includes several videos about Churchill produced by the National Churchill Museum.
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Laurence Geller CBE and Jennie Churchill at the National Churchill Library and Center
Opening remarks by Jennie Churchill for the ‘Churchill’s Shakespeare’ exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.
My great grandfather first visited the United States in 1895, just before his twentieth birthday.
At that time, he did not like your press or your currency but he did love your hospitality.
It was on his first visit to Washington, D.C. in 1900 that he met the first on many Presidents of the `United States
That President was William McKinley.
He was to be the first of very many with whom, Winston met and developed relationships
Famously, Churchill is rightly credited with developing the modern special relationship between our two countries.
Given that he was himself the product of an Anglo-American special relationship this was not only a strategic necessity but a natural evolution.
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Allen Packwood, the Director of the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge, recently took part in a panel discussion in Dallas, Texas at the George W Bush Presidential Center. Packwood participated in the discussion on Churchill’s leadership, together with the historians Professor David Reynolds, Professor of International History at Cambridge, and Professor David Woolner, Senior Fellow and resident historian of the Roosevelt Institute.
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Andrew Roberts on Winston Churchill as an Historian
Why should we melt down our moral capital collected by our forefathers to please a lot of pacifists? I would send a telegram beginning, “Nothing for nothing and precious little for tuppence.”‘
-Winston S Churchill
Visit C-SPAN to watch the presentation.
Get your personal subscription to the Churchill Archive
The Churchill Archive contains more than 800,000 pages of original documents produced during Sir Winston Churchill’s lifetime. These documents range from top-secret telegrams to photographs and newspaper reports, from private letters to annotated versions of speeches. This iconic collection is internationally recognised as a cultural treasure and has been added to UNESCO’s International Memory of the World Register.
“There are few figures more important to the history of the twentieth century than Winston Churchill.”
David B. Woolner, Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian, Roosevelt Institute, USA
By Subscribing to the Churchill Archive and you will:
- Understand more about Churchill’s relationships, strengths, and achievements by exploring the Collection Highlights, such as Churchill and America, Winston Churchill and Public Speaking and Churchill’s First World War.
- Explore further by reading short Introductions by leading historians on key topics such as The Century of the Special Relationship and The Cold War and Nuclear Weapons.
- Learn about significant events through correspondence with presidents, royals and world leaders in our Featured Document of the Month.
- Get a brief insight into Churchill’s personal and political life every single day of the year through the daily snippet feature, Action This Day.
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Final assault and the fall of Constantinople in 1453
The 2018 theme is Conflict and Compromise in History
The National Contest for the National History Day® competition is the final stage of a series of contests at local and state/affiliate levels. Students begin their journey by presenting their projects in classrooms, schools, and districts around the world. Top entries are invited to the state/affiliate level contests. The top two entries in every category at the state/affiliate level are then invited to the National Contest.
The 2018 National Contest will be held June 10-14, 2018 at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Each year the National History Day competition frames students’ research within a specific historical theme.
“The intentional selection of the theme for NHD is to provide an opportunity for students to push past the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.”
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Winston Churchill’s country home Chartwell in Kent
Author Jonathan Dudley recounts visiting Chartwell as a child in Winston, Churchill and Me – a memoir of childhood 1944-1950. Get your copy at Amazon.com here.
A couple of years ago, that would be in 2015, I decided to take myself back to Chartwell. I had just finished writing the first full draft of a short memoir capturing the strangeness and the wonder of staying there with Mr and Mrs Churchill in the summer of 1949 and again in 1950. In 1949 I was eight years old–classrooms at my all-boys school in London were furnished with double-desks, each one shared by two boys sitting side by side. The little boy I was told to sit next to in this our final year at the school couldn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, be described as my great friend – I had hardly spoken to him during the two or three years we had been at this expensive private school in South Kensington. Nevertheless, Winston, for that was his name, mentioned one day that his grandmother had asked him to bring a friend when he went to stay with her and his grandfather in their country house in Kent this summer. “Would I,” he asked me solemnly, “like to be that friend?”
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Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”
The much-anticipated film Darkest Hour starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill will be officially released to theatres on 22 November 2017. Attendees of the 34th International Churchill Conference will be treated to an exclusive preview screening during the conference on 10-12 October 2017 in New York City.
Darkest Hour portrays the early first premiership of Winston Churchill in the spring of 1940. France and the low countries were collapsing and the British Empire was left on its own to face the Nazi threat. This exclusive screening will take place on the evening of the first day of the conference following a reception at the Essex House Hotel.
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The International Churchill Society’s concise guide to Winston Churchill
Get your copy of the The International Churchill Society’s The Churchill Companion: A Concise Guide to the Life & Times of Winston S. Churchill.
This handy, pocket guide was originally compiled by the late David Hatter, but the editing of this edition was completed by Finest Hour editor emeritus Richard Langworth CBE, with the able assistance of many Churchill experts*.
Order your copy today!
The Churchill Companion offers twenty-eight categories of ready-reference information on the life and times of Sir Winston S. Churchill (1874-1965) for students, scholars and researchers, together with Internet references for further reference.
- A Timeline of his life and times
- Books written by or about Churchill
- Elections he participated in from 1899 to 1959
- A Glossary of Parliamentary and Political Terms
- Honors, Orders, Decorations and Medals
- Offices Held
- Secretaries, including Private, Parliamentary and Personal
The Churchill Companion begins with a 100-year Timeline of Churchill’s life from his birth in 1874 to the death of his wife Clementine in 1977. Subsequent chapters list Churchill’s books; recommended books about him; his BBC broadcasts from 1938 to 1945; dramatic productions in film and television; elections fought by Churchill; the family tree; leading articles in the journal Finest Hour; the 1965 funeral service; a glossary of Parliamentary and political terms; British governments, sovereigns and prime ministers; Churchill’s honors, orders, decorations and medals; his favorite hotels; his military commissions; a military glossary, leading Churchill myths; government offices held; British political parties; Churchill residences and holiday accommodations; Parliamentary, personal and private secretaries; the British nobility; World War II summit conferences; all Churchill’s race horses; his travel by sea; his travels in North America, his travels in World War II, and the Visitors Book at Chartwell.
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For the first time, the international Churchill photo exhibition Churchill’s Finest Hour, 1940-45 will be on show in Portugal.
The exhibition is produced by Niels Bjerre from Copenhagen, Denmark. Bjerre has been interested in Churchill’s life since the early 1990´s. It was his visit to the Churchill War Rooms in London in 1987 gave him the inspiration to create the photo exhibition of the “Greatest Briton”.
‘Like many other countries which were occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War we Danes see Winston Churchill as the one who saved the free world. He succeeded in kindling the spirit of the British people and also everyone who wanted to take a stand against dictatorship! Here is this man who comes into history and gives the inspiration of leadership and charts the way for the people to go. I was also so lucky to know Churchill’s daughter Lady Soames (1922-2014) over many years. She always showed interest in what other “Churchillians” were doing around the world’, says Niels Bjerre.
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Sen. John Danforth receives the Churchill Medal for Leadership. Photo by Bill Greenblatt, UPI.
On the 8th of June 2017, Dr. Benjamin Akande, President of Westminster College, presented the Winston Churchill Medal for Leadership to former U.S. Senator and Ambassador to the United Nations Jack Danforth. The presentation was held at an evening dinner event at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. Westminster College is the historic location of Winston Churchill’s famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech which was given in 1946. The speech is considered the beginning of the ‘Cold War’ between the Soviet Union and the West.
“For peace in the world and for tranquility at home, we must return to fundamental principle. It’s America’s responsibility abroad and purpose at home to hold things together.”
— Excerpt from Sen. John C. Danforth’s acceptance remarks.
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HM Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Ascot 2010 horse race meeting.
“Famous have been the reigns of our Queens,” Winston Churchill told the nation when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father as sovereign in 1952. The Prime Minister recalled: “Some of the greatest periods in our history have unfolded under their sceptres.”
Sixty-five years on, we now know that the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth have in this Second Elizabethan Age enjoyed the greatest period of prosperity in their history and a much more peaceful time than during the tumultuous first half of the twentieth century.
From her earliest days on the throne at age twenty-five, Her Majesty pledged faithfully to follow her late father’s example “of service to his Peoples and the preservation of Constitutional Government.” This she has done impeccably for six and a half decades. We saw it again only this May when, at ninety-one, Her Majesty travelled to Manchester to pay hospital visits to the victims of a terrorist attack.
When hailing the accession of his young, new monarch, the seventy-seven-year-old Churchill concluded: “I, whose youth was passed in the august, unchallenged and tranquil glories of the Victorian Era, may well feel a thrill in invoking, once more, the prayer and the Anthem, ‘God Save the Queen!’”
The International Churchill Society warmly endorses the royal sentiments expressed by the man whose legacy we serve to preserve and promote. In Her Majesty’s tenth decade, we join with others round the world in singing “long live our noble Queen!”
-Laurence Geller CBE, Chairman, International Churchill Society
HM Queen Elizabeth II’s actual date of birth is 21 April, but her official birthday is generally celebrated in the United Kingdom on the second Saturday in June and throughout the Commonwealth on various other dates.
By Professor Andrew Roberts
The 91st birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II seems to be a good time to investigate what this remarkable woman means to Great Britain, the Commonwealth and the world, and why. For Chinese people, who have not had an hereditary Head of State since 1911, the whole concept of a crown and throne might seem absurdly anachronistic, but somehow it works for Britain and the fifteen other countries of which she is queen.
The fact that The Queen is in good health, and even as a nonagenarian carries out over three hundred public engagements per year, is remarkable. Her father King George VI died at the age of 56 but her mother was 101 when she died, and their daughter shows few signs of slowing down in the role. The commendable respect that the Chinese traditionally show to older and more experienced people is not always displayed in Britain, but it certainly is towards The Queen, who is universally admired, even by republicans who politically do not support the monarchy as an institution, such as the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
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Members will be sad to learn of the recent death of Eric Bingham at the age of 94. Eric was a long-time member and was at one time the Society’s membership secretary.
In 1995 Eric and his late wife Hilda wrote a deeply researched piece about Robert Somervell, Churchill’s history master at Harrow: see Finest Hour 86. In My Early Life, Churchill had written that his debt to Mr Somervell was great and that it was due to him that he had got into his bones “the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence – which is a noble thing.”
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