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Churchill Collectables: 1941 Anglo-American Badge

By BRIAN KRAPF

This celluloid badge measures two inches in diameter and is a very rare period commemorative of Churchill’s December 1941 visit to the United States. The visit took place just two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into the Second World War. On December 26, 1941, Churchill became the first Prime Minister ever to address a joint session of Congress. His visit was also seen as a follow up to the signing of the Atlantic Charter meeting, which had taken place off the coast of Newfoundland the previous August.   

In this now famous and often cited speech, Churchill asked of Germany and Japan, “What kind of people do they think we are?” The badge’s reference to Churchill as a bulldog answers that question. Likewise, the badge’s reference to Churchill being born of a British father and American mother is, again, based on a comment he made while addressing Congress.

Based on its construction, the badge unquestionably dates to the war. Based on its content, it must have been made shortly after Churchill delivered his famous speech before Congress. It does not, however, appear to be of US manufacture. My guess is that it was made in Canada since Churchill traveled there within days of his Congressional address.

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