OUR Board of Governors was meeting in Washington as this issue was prepared, taking stock of what we had accomplished and what we must do in the future. The past year has seen major accomplishments:
# Thanks to further support from Churchill Center Associates, our Endowment surpassed $1,000,000.
# Our Churchill Home Page expanded exponentially: www.winstonchurchill.org provides thousands of people per month, all over the world, material heretofore available only in back issues of Finest Hour and Churchill Proceedings. Our website is our largest single source of new members—who have an average age of only 44.
# Thanks to Ethel M. Pont, its major benefactor, we held our first student seminar in April 1997 at Stanford University, bringing sixteen of North America’s best students together with scholars after reading My Early Life and Thoughts and Adventures—many for the first time. The insights these young people delivered were not only interesting; some of them stopped us in our tracks.
# Our first book, Churchill as Peacemaker, comprises papers from our 1994 Churchill symposium. Brilliant and readable, it is the first scholarly evaluation of Churchill’s efforts at peacemaking from the Boer War to the Cold War.
#• We commissioned editorial work on three more books: Winston Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech and Churchill in the Postwar Years; and a new edition of The River War, including both the original 1899 and 1902 texts.
# The scholarships we provided for Canadian and an American students at the University of Edinburgh were not used in 1997, as the course did not develop; they were reinstated in 1998 for students at the University’s Centre for Second World War Studies.
# We helped to bring scholars from England and the USA to the Toronto Churchill Conference in October, to participate in panels and to discuss Churchill’s India.
# At the end of 1997, operations of the International Churchill Society USA were consolidated with those of The Churchill Center, eliminating duplicate reports, time and expense while preserving all the traditional social and publishing activities of ICS.
# In May our third Churchill Symposium, at Blenheim Palace, brought sixteen scholars together to examine Marlborough—the book Leo Strauss called “the greatest historical work written in our century, an inexhaustible mine of political wisdom and understanding.”
# Our second book, A Connoisseur’s Guide to the Books of Winston Churchill, was published in August. Its publication, under our auspices, sets a pattern by which The Churchill Center can aid publication of future books which might not be viable without our support.
# At the 1998 Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia we launch the Churchill Lectures, starting with former U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s Raymond Seitz. We are also bringing scholars and students, to discuss the Anglo-American “Special Relationship” and Churchill’s views on the American Revolution. And, as usual, we will all have a wonderful time!
# In addition to seeking new, outside sponsors for the Endowment Fund we will contact another round of members, not only with an invitation to become Associates, but with new, lower cost ways to invest in what is now dearly a going concern.
# Churchill Proceedings 1996-1997 will be our next special publication. Our sixth Proceedings, it will publish all the speeches and papers of the recent UK and Canadian conferences.
# You are invited to Bath, Maine on April 17th to join Lady Soames in launching USS Winston S. Churchill, the Navy’s latest, greatest guided missile destroyer.
# The Center will help underwrite costs for students and scholars at the 16th International Churchill Conference at Bath, England on July 22-25th, 1999
# At Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, September 24-25th, 1999, we hold our Theme Conference, “Churchill and Eisenhower at Gettysburg,” with a tour of the battlefield as Churchill toured it with Dee, erudite speakers on their relationship in war and peace, and parallel publication of two strikingly different Churchill compositions: Sir Winston’s factual account of the great Civil War battle from his History of the English-Speaking Peoples; and his brilliant though obscure “what if’ story, “If Lee Had Not Won the Battle of Gettysburg.”
# James Muller has completed his editing of the comprehensive new edition of The River War. Our goal now is to see it into publication, making a reasonably priced, fully unabridged edition available to schools, libraries and individuals for the first time in a century.
# With the Connoisseur’s Guide as experience, we will work to encourage publication of other worthy books. Authors are discussing with publishers and us a guide to Churchilliana, an account of Churchill’s military career, a book on Churchill and Lord Fisher and a catalogue of Churchill stamps. As you can see, we are balanced between “lay” and “academic” interests; the needs of collectors and bibliophiles are as important as those of scholars and historians.
With your help, we are confident that 1999 will see continued progress and satisfying accomplishments.
—from the Churchill Center Annual Report
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