President Kennedy Presented Churchill With His Rarest Honor
Acting upon authorization from the United States Congress, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed Winston Churchill an Honorary Citizen of the United States on 9 April 1963. In a Rose Garden ceremony, Randolph Churchill accepted the award on behalf of his father while his own son, Winston, looked on. CLICK HERE to watch the original video. The award was the most exceptional of the many commendations Churchill received in his lifetime. Only seven people have received the distinction, and Churchill was one of only two living recipients (the other being Mother Teresa.)
Posthumous recipients include Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat and Holocaust Rescuer (1981); William and Hannah Penn, English Quaker patriarch and matriarch who established Pennsylvania (1984); Marquis de La Fayette, French officer on the staff of George Washington (2002–officially by Congress); and Casimir Pulaski, Polish officer who served in the American Revolution (2008.)
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library also has released a 4 1/2 minute video of the ceremony that is in color but unfortunately has no audio.
CLICK HERE to view the video. To see and read President Kennedy’s speech notes for the ceremony CLICK HERE.