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National History Day Competition 2018 Supported by Churchill Archive for Schools

The 2018 theme is Conflict and Compromise in History

The National Contest for the National History Day® competition is the final stage of a series of contests at local and state/affiliate levels. Students begin their journey by presenting their projects in classrooms, schools, and districts around the world. Top entries are invited to the state/affiliate level contests. The top two entries in every category at the state/affiliate level are then invited to the National Contest.

The 2018 National Contest will be held June 10-14, 2018 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Each year the National History Day competition frames students’ research within a specific historical theme.

“The intentional selection of the theme for NHD is to provide an opportunity for students to push past the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.”

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After the Second World War Churchill writes his own account of WWII

Shortly after his return from Fulton in 1946, Churchill began to write his war memoirs. With a team of researchers beavering away on his behalf, he had a very ordered (if somewhat laborious) approach to drafting and editing. He would pull together all his documents (or get his researchers to pull them together) – minutes, telegrams, letters – and then would track down material from other sources, too. Churchill would then begin to draft the text which would link all the documents together, dictating to a team of secretaries, often late into the night. Just as he did with all his speeches, he’d check drafts, check proofs, marking them up at each stage with copious corrections, determined to get the right word, the right phrase. Despite such a laborious process (or perhaps because of it), The Second World War appeared relatively quickly, in six volumes, between 1948 and 1954. Churchill never claimed the memoirs were ‘history’; they were rather a contribution to history. Although their very breadth and coverage gave the impression that they were a definitive account, there were omissions, of course. The Second World War was Churchill’s interpretation of the events, the work of a man seeking to place his role in the war – and in history. The books sold well, with a combined first printing of over 800,000 copies.

‘Urban Myths: Indian Forebears’

Introduced by Richard M. Langworth

Winston Churchill and his family long delighted in extolling the legend of their Native American blood, believed to have been introduced through Jennie Jerome’s maternal grandmother, Clarissa Wilcox. Despite the much-mooted Red Indian features of some of Clarissa’s descendants, there is no genealogical evidence to support Native American ancestry in the Jerome lineage.

In his biography of Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (vol. 1, The Romantic Years) Ralph Martin noted ‘marked Indian features of Clara Jerome and her sisters and their children’, suggesting that Clarissa Wilcox’s mother ‘may have been raped by an Indian’ and that Clarissa may have been a half-caste. This is quite a stretch: there were no Iroquois Indians in Nova Scotia, where Anna spent much of her youth. While there were certainly Iroquois in upper New York, where she moved as a 25-year-old wife and mother, her husband’s will mentions their daughter Clarind [sic] Wilcox and her sisters, which itself seems definitive. Martin’s thesis is harder to believe than the simple, forthright facts as recorded by her colonial family in their probate records. The absence of proof does not make a story untrue; but it does not establish it, either.

Read the full article here: ‘Urban Myths: Indian Forebears’ by Elizabeth Churchill Snell, Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999.

To read more background to the story that Churchill’s American ancestors included Mayflower passengers, read his grandson’s piece in the Finest Hour, here.

For more on Churchill’s forebears and his early life, see the exhibition, ‘Churchill and the Great Republic’, at the Library of Congress, here.

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The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.