“Winston Churchill and the Anglo-American Relationship”
July 11-31, 2010; Cambridge and London
A three-week summer institute for teachers, directed by Professor James W. Muller, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Academic Chairman of The Churchill Centre, and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant application was submitted in early spring 2009 by James W. Muller, Suzanne Sigman and Daniel N. Myers, and administered on-site by Professor Muller and Suzanne Sigman.
Our first outing, upon arrival, was to the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial site in Madingley. The University of Cambridge donated its 30.5 acres. The cemetery contains the remains of 3,812 American military dead; 5,127 names are recorded on the Tablets of the Missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Most died in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of northwest Europe. Bob and Genie assist our outstanding guide, Arthur Brooks, in lowering the flag at Taps.
Teachers are ready for the upcoming 1.5-hour seminar session.
So much fun to hold a session in the Old Harrovian Room at Harrow School.
Outside the Archives Centre with Celia Sandys, center front, after her presentation and Q&A on “The Lighter Side of Churchill.”
Leanne and Joe chat with guest lecturer Professor Kevin Theakston who led sessions on “The British Political System and Churchill” and “Was Churchill a Good Prime Minister?” Theakston is Professor of British Government, University of Leeds, and a former Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University. The author of six books, including Winston Churchill and the British Constitution, he is England’s expert on the assessment of prime ministers.
We ate three meals a day in the Churchill College Dining Hall! Esteemed historian Richard Overy, third back on the right, joins us for lunch after leading sessions on “Churchill’s Strategy from Rearmament to D-Day” and “Churchill and the Aeroplane: Battle of Britain and Bombing.” Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter where he serves as Director of the Centre for the Study of War, State and
Max Hastings, author, journalist and broadcaster, autographs his highly regarded book Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord, 1940-45 (2009) for Joe, following his presentation and Q&A.
Other guest lecturers were David Woolner, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, and Piers Brendon, Churchill biographer and former Keeper of the Churchill Archives Centre. Both sought to address the Churchill-Roosevelt relationship.
Teachers visited Jack Darrah’s Churchill Collection at Bletchley Park, a lifetime of work- and still growing!
Jim and Suzanne with Jack Darrah
More fun at Bletchley Park
Churchill greeted us at Bletchley
Churchill War Rooms
Phil Reed (left), Director of the Churchill War Rooms, welcomes teachers to the Cabinet War Room. Churchill’s chair is left vacant, at center rear, in front of the map.
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We were awestruck by famous plaque in the floor of Westminster Hall, seen during our tour of Parliament, arranged by Nicholas Soames MP, Churchill’s grandson, through the kindness of his gracious assistant, Corinne Conrath.
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Awaiting our tour of Blenheim Palace.
The group also visited Chartwell, a day not “wasted.”
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Our farewell dinner, sponsored by The Churchill Centre, was at Ciao Bella, just a few blocks from our London accommodations at Goodenough College in Mecklenburgh Square (Bloomsbury).
From an anonymous evaluation:
“This was an amazing experience. Through the readings, discussions, research, guest lecturers and ‘field trips,’ I was able to gain new insight into Churchill and World War II. I feel it is important as a teacher to be a life long student. Often there is a misnomer that history is a ‘stagnant’ [subject] which does not change; new scholarship is always happening which can change our understanding of the past. It is important that high school teachers are part of this ‘conversation’ and have access to the most up-to-date understanding of the past because we are the ones conveying information to the next generation. This institute was an amazing way for high school teachers to be brought into the academic conversation so we can now bring it back to our classrooms.”
Thanks to the photographers: Eileen Bach, Genie Burke, Joe Gianetto, Brian Powers, Suzanne Sigman and Suzanne Wooten.
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