Spring 1961 (Age 86)

In early Match Sir Winston joined Aristotle Onassis’ yacht at Gibraltar for an unhurried tour of the Caribbean and the US coast. On the day the first Russian cosmonaut went into space, Churchill arrived in New York Harbor for the final time.

Among the luncheon guests on the Christina was UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, who later commented to reporters: “This is a very great man, who has been the conscience of freedom in his time, and who now is in the sunset of his life and entitled to the privacy that he has earned in those years of endeavor.”

After lunch, Sir Winston observed the departure of the Queen Mary, the Cunard ship which had conveyed him to his wartime meetings with Franklin Roosevelt. At dinner he was joined by his longtime friend, 90-year-old Bernard Baruch, who told the press: “it will be good to be with him. He’s a wonderful young man at 86.” During dinner he received a telephone call from President Kennedy, who offered to send a special plane to bring him to the White House for a visit. But the old man was too infirm. Besides Lady Churchill was in hospital and he wanted to get back to her. Although pleasantly surprised, he declined the invitation but accepted “for some other time.”

On 14 April on Pan American Flight 100, Sir Winston Churchill left his mother’s homeland for the last time.

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