Undergraduate courses on Winston Churchill are lamentably rare, but one of them is currently on offer at the George Washington University, home of the National Churchill Library and Center. “Churchill’s World” is taught by Professor Dane Kennedy of the History Department, with the assistance of NCLC Director Michael F. Bishop, who will serve as an occasional guest instructor. The class meets weekly in the Reading Room of the NCLC. Read More >
National Churchill Library and Center
Please join us as the National Churchill Library and Center welcomes historian Jeremi Suri for a discussion of his latest book, The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office.
Jeremi Suri is the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs, and Professor of Public Affairs and History, at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author or editor of nine books, including Henry Kissinger and the American Century, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere.
A Conversation with Niall Ferguson
Please join us as the National Churchill Library and Center welcomes acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson for a discussion of his new book, The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power, and Churchill’s use of networks as a war leader.
Gary Oldman, who plays Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, and Joe Wright, the film’s director, visited the National Churchill Library and Center on November 4. They were in Washington for a private screening for Members of Congress and others the night before. The visit was arranged by Focus Features, the distributor of the film.
During their hour-long visit, Mr. Oldman and Mr. Wright received a private tour from NCLC Director Michael F. Bishop. They were particularly interested in the calendar engagement cards on which the prime minister’s wartime schedule was recorded and admired the other original artifacts and documents on display, including the wedding gifts that Clementine gave her husband.
In brief remarks, Mr. Bishop commended Mr. Oldman for his performance and Mr. Wright for conjuring a gripping thriller out of the intense Cabinet debates of May 1940, and thanked them for inspiring a new generation to learn more about Churchill’s extraordinary historical importance. Darkest Hour was released in theaters November 22, 2017.
Universal Appeal: Churchill’s Essay about Extraterrestrial Life THE FULTON REPORT - From the National Churchill Museum
Finest Hour 176, Spring 2017
An eleven-page essay by Winston Churchill entitled “Are We Alone in the Universe?” in the archives of the National Churchill Museum has developed into an international news story that revealed Churchill was clearly open to the possibility of extra-terrestrial life on other planets.
Churchill drafted his first version of the essay in 1939 and then revised the text slightly in the 1950s. The manuscript of the revised version was among four boxes of materials that were donated to the museum some thirty years ago by Wendy Reves, widow of Churchill literary agent Emery Reves. There it sat unnoticed until its rediscovery last year.
Seeking insights about the validity or the accuracy of Churchill’s astronomical perspective, Timothy Riley, Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator of the National Churchill Museum, provided the essay to Westminster science faculty as well as renowned astrophysicist Mario Livio, during his Hancock Symposium lecture at Westminster College last fall.
Excitement grew when Livio and the Westminster science faculty expressed great amazement over Churchill’s faith in science and his belief in potential alien life on other planets. Riley gave support to Livio, who wrote an extensive article about the essay for the 16 February 2017 issue of Nature, the prestigious science journal.
The article touched off an avalanche of news stories in the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, The Huffington Post, U.S. News and World Report, The Guardian, the South China Morning Post, the Times of Israel, El Universio, and El Diario and was carried by the newsagencies Reuters, Agence France-Press (AFP), AFP Japan, and Xinhua, the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China. And the story continued to grow.
Newsweek, Smithsonian, the Christian Science Monitor, The Independent, The Times of London, and hundreds of other publications began using the news story, followed by regional, national, and international broadcast outlets from NBC and Fox News to NPR and the BBC, as well as Yahoo and dozens of major online news portals worldwide. Read More >
Author of On Tyranny gives a talk in Washington, D.C.
Professor Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, gave a talk at the National Churchill Library and Center about his book in which he reflects on how many democracies failed throughout Europe during the 20th century and how these specific cases can be used as lessons for maintaining democracy today. Watch the entire talk at C-SPAN.
Finest Hour 175, Winter 2017
Getting the Bearings
HAMPSHIRE—The description of the armorial bearings of the Royal College of Defence Studies on page 21 [image on page 18] is unspecific about which elements represent the branches of the armed forces. Could you please elucidate?
—Paul H. Courtenay
Dr. Stewart obliges:
OXFORD—I am happy to provide the expanded version of the text describing the “Beast” or “the Great Beast,” as the bearings are affectionately known, which features in the College’s updated history that I completed last month:
The trident represents the Royal Navy, the lion the Army, and the wings of the lion the Royal Air Force. In 1955 a silver chain was added around the neck to denote the civilian members in attendance at Seaford House; the laurel wreath replaced this after consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Announcing the Completion of Phase I of the National Churchill Library and Center in Washington, DC
Churchill Friends: Over three decades ago, a small group of Churchill Centre members set forth an ambitious dream:
The creation of a new headquarters in Washington, DC to provide a substantial permanent home for Churchill studies in the heart of our nation’s capital.
Despite the passage of years, the dream did not die – but the financial, practical and organizational
challenges were formidable and made it seemingly beyond our reach. Yet we knew that to fulfil our mission to, in the words of Churchill’s daughter Lady Soames, “keep the memory green” and also ensure the continuing relevance of his legacy, we simply had no choice but to “never, never, never, never give in….”
Thus, it gives us great satisfaction to tell you that we have recently completed Phase I of the Capital Campaign for the new National Churchill Library and Center at George Washington University (the NCLC.) It is with enormous pleasure to announce the buildout of its permanent home in the University’s Gelman Library will be completed this summer with a grand opening to coincide with the 33rd International Churchill Conference in Washington, DC October 27-29.