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Iron Curtain Speech Remembered 75th Anniversary Events at Westminster College

By TIMOTHY RILEY

America’s National Churchill Museum commemorated the 75th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s “Sinews of Peace” address, commonly known as the “Iron Curtain” speech on March 5th and 6th. The world was invited to a virtual commemoration live from Westminster’s Historic Gymnasium and other Churchill-related sites on campus. Dignitaries, leaders, and members of the Churchill family participated from all parts of the world and joined the Westminster community for a memorable celebration. Watch the full event replay HERE.

The first day of the program began with a discussion between Winston Churchill’s granddaughter The Hon. Edwina Sandys and President Harry Truman’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel about the Churchill-Truman Legacy. After that, the Winston S. Churchill Leadership Medal Award was presented to Dr. Monroe E. Trout. There then followed a discussion between William Roedy, former chairman and CEO of MTV International, and Bob Geldof, musician and humanitarian. This was capped by the 34th Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture on “Churchillian Realism” by George F. Will, Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator (transcript).

In the afternoon, there were greetings from Dame Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to the United States, Yael Lempert, Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in London, and Mark Sutherland. This led into “Conversations with Crosby: Churchill Today,” a panel discussion about the enduring nature of the “Sinews of Peace,” Churchill’s legacy, and the role of the museum today with historian Andrew Roberts, Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator Timothy Riley, and R. Crosby Kemper III, Director of Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency, which was hosted by the Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS).

Next followed a the world premiere of Franta and Winston, a new documentary by Steve Stinson about the Museum’s iconic sculpture of Winston Churchill by Franta Belsky (Czech-British, 1921–2000) and then the opening of Sinews of Peace: The Power of Prose, a virtual exhibition examining the near-final draft of the “Iron Curtain” speech in the collection of America’s National Churchill Museum. Typewritten with final hand-written additions dictated by Churchill to his secretary Jo Sturdee, the draft reveals Churchill’s last-minute changes, rhetorical flourishes, and edits to the famous speech. The exhibit was created by America’s National Churchill Museum and students at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. Virtual exhibit made possible by the Anson Cutts Gallery Endowment. Visit the virtual exhibit

On Saturday the museum was pleased to host the installation of the following new Churchill Fellows of Westminster College:

    • Colin Brown of Lighthouse Point, FL, chair of the board of JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
    • US Navy Vice Admiral (Ret.) Michael T. Franken of Sioux City, IA, first commanding officer of the USS Winston S. Churchill
    • Keith S. Harbison of St. Louis, MO, founder and managing partner of Alitus Partners
    • U.S. Air Force Lieut. Gen. (Ret.) Richard C. Harding of Columbia, MO, retired The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) in Washington, DC
    • Erik Larson of New York City, author of six New York Times bestsellers, including his newest book, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
    • The Honorable Michael Y. Scudder of Chicago, IL, US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • Cita Stelzer of Scottsdale, AZ, author of two highly successful books about Churchill: Dinner with Churchill and Working with Winston: The Unsung Women Behind Britain’s Greatest Statesman
    • George Will of Washington DC, veteran columnist for The Washington Post and Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator

Timothy Riley is Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator of America’s National Churchill Museum at Westminster College in Fulton, MO.

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