- President Obama, Winston Churchill and Torture - FOXNews
- Since then, "The Factor" has been investigating Winston Churchill's position on waging war and interrogating the enemy. Aided by Boston University History Professor Cathal Nolan, we have found out the following: • Churchill wanted to use poison gas on...
- Gleeson Voices Secret Of Churchill Thriller - Sky News
- Actor Brendan Gleeson has told how he perfected the voice of Winston Churchill for his new wartime thriller - two weeks' hard graft in the peaceful west of Ireland. The Irish star plays Churchill in Into The Storm, which tells the story of the Prime...
- Jesusita Fire Thank-Yous - The Santa Barbara Independent
- And then the patterns of my thinking and of this fire flashed me back to an earlier time, but similar emotions, and the words of Winston Churchill: “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” The firefighters are our few, we owe you much,...
- Napping cop keeps good company — with Churchill and Reagan - Scarlet Scuttlebutt
- His father did not smoke, did not drink, walked a lot and, said George Jr., his father, like Winston Churchill, took an afternoon nap every day. Winston Churchill saved England. Ronald Reagan chopped down the Berlin Wall. Reagan was a napper, too....
- State can't afford Proposition 1A - Ventura County Star
- As Winston Churchill once said, “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” It's time for legislators to adopt budget solutions that focus on job creation and...
- Winston Churchill celebrating 50th - Niagarathisweek.com
- By Mike Zettel If there's something which sticks out in George Thomas' mind about his time as principal at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, it's the focus on education. Yes, the school is known for its championship football and rowing teams,...
- Roofing firm restores Churchill's home - Eastbourne Today
- A MASSIVE re-roofing project by Eastbourne company Clarke Roofing Southern Ltd at the home of Winston Churchill will ensure its future for another century. The company, based in Hammonds Drive, was employed to restore Chartwell in Kent, the much-loved...
- Is the worst of the advertising recession over? - guardian.co.uk
- But to paraphrase Winston Churchill, it may be the end of the beginning of the brutal advertising recession that has battered UK media over the past six to nine months. Media companies including ITV, Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press are starting to...
- mps' expenses: 'Suddenly David Cameron looked grown up' - guardian.co.uk
- Like thunder after sultry heat it came as a great relief, despite the brooding presence of Sir Winston Churchill, patron saint of rackety political finances, whose portrait hangs in the Westminster club where his successor faced the hack pack....
- New Yorker: Obama a Better Churchill than Churchill? (Or Bush) - Canada Free Press
- In the aftermath of Barack Obama's own false historical reference, made during a Wednesday press conference, of famed WWII era English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Davidson jumped to her keyboard to further garble history with an April 30 blog...
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a Nobel Prize-winning writer, and an artist.
During his army career, Churchill saw combat in India, in the Sudan and the Second Boer War. He gained fame and notoriety as a war correspondent and through contemporary books he wrote describing the campaigns. He also served briefly in the British Army on the Western Front in World War I, commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
At the forefront of the political scene for almost fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of the Asquith Liberal government. During the war he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli caused his departure from government. He returned as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air. In the interwar years, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Conservative government.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and led Britain to victory against the Axis powers. Churchill was always noted for his speeches, which became a great inspiration to the British people and embattled Allied forces.
After losing the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition. In 1951, he again became Prime Minister before finally retiring in 1955. Elizabeth II offered to create him Duke of London, but this was declined due to the objections of his son Randolph, who would have inherited the title on his father's death. Upon his death the Queen granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of statesmen in the world.
A descendant of the famous Spencer family, Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, like his father, used the surname Churchill in public life. His ancestor George Spencer had changed his surname to Spencer-Churchill in 1817 when he became Duke of Marlborough, to highlight his descent from John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. Winston's father, Lord Randolph Churchill, the third son of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, was a politician, while his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill (née Jennie Jerome) was the daughter of American millionaire Leonard Jerome. Born on 30 November 1874 in a bedroom in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire; he arrived eight months after his parents' hasty marriage. Churchill had one brother, John Strange Spencer-Churchill.
Independent and rebellious by nature, Churchill generally did poorly in school, for which he was punished. He entered Harrow School on 17 April 1888, where his military career began. Within weeks of his arrival, he had joined the Harrow Rifle Corps. He earned high marks in English and history and was also the school's fencing champion.
He was rarely visited by his mother (then known as Lady Randolph), and wrote letters begging her to either come to the school or to allow him to come home. His relationship with his father was a distant one, he once remarked that they barely spoke to each other. Due to this lack of parental contact he became very close to his nanny, Elizabeth Anne Everest, who he used to call "Woomany". His father died on 24 January 1895, aged just 45, leaving Churchill with the conviction that he too would die young, so should be quick about making his mark on the world.
Churchill described himself as having a "speech impediment" which he consistently worked to overcome. After many years, he finally stated, "My impediment is no hindrance." Trainee speech therapists are often shown videotapes of Churchill's mannerisms while making speeches and the Stuttering Foundation of America uses Churchill, pictured on its home page, as one of its role models of successful stutterers. This diagnosis is confirmed by contemporaries writing in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The Churchill Centre, however, flatly refutes the claim that Churchill stuttered while confirming that he did have difficulty pronouncing the letter 'S' and spoke with a lisp. His father also spoke with a lisp. The National Cluttering Association however maintains that Churchill had not a stutter but a clutter.
Churchill met his future wife, Clementine Hozier, in 1904 at a ball in Crewe House, home of the Earl of Crewe and his wife Margaret Primrose (daughter of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery). In 1908, they met again at a dinner party hosted by Lady St Helier. Churchill found himself seated beside Clementine, and they soon began a lifelong romance. He proposed to Hozier during a house party at Blenheim Palace on 10 August 1908, in a small Temple of Diana. On 12 September 1908, they were married in St. Margaret's, Westminster. The church was packed; the Bishop of St Asaph conducted the service. In March 1909, the couple moved to a house at 33 Eccleston Square.
Their first child, Diana, was born in London on 11 July 1909. After the pregnancy, Clementine moved to Sussex to recover, while Diana stayed in London with her nanny. On 28 May 1911, their second child, Randolph, was born at 33 Eccleston Square. Their third child, Sarah, was born on 7 October 1914 at Admiralty House. The birth was marked with anxiety for Clementine, as Winston had been sent to Antwerp by the Cabinet to "stiffen the resistance of the beleaguered city" after news that the Belgians intended to surrender the town.
Clementine gave birth to her fourth child, Marigold Frances Churchill, on 15 November 1918, four days after the official end of World War I. In the early months of August, the Churchills' children were entrusted to a French nursery governess in Kent named Mlle Rose. Clementine, meanwhile, travelled to Eaton Hall to play tennis with Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster and his family. While still under the care of Mlle Rose, Marigold had a cold, but was reported to have recovered from the illness. As the illness progressed with hardly any notice, it turned into septicaemia. Following advice from a landlady, Rose sent for Clementine. However the illness turned fatal on 23 August 1921, and Marigold was buried in the Kensal Green Cemetery three days later. On 15 September 1922, the Churchills' last child was born, Mary. Later that month, the Churchills bought Chartwell, which would be Winston's home until his death in 1965.
After Churchill left Harrow in 1893, he applied to attend the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. It took three attempts before he passed the entrance exam; he applied for cavalry rather than infantry because the grade requirement was lower and did not require him to learn mathematics, which he disliked. He graduated eighth out of a class of 150 in December 1894, and although he could now have transferred to an infantry regiment as his father had wished, chose to remain with the cavalry and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars on 20 February 1895. In 1941, he received the honour of Colonel of the Hussars.
Churchill's pay as a second lieutenant in the 4th Hussars was £300. However, he believed that he needed at least a further £500 (equivalent to £25,000 in 2001 terms) to support a style of life equal to other officers of the regiment. His mother provided an allowance of £400 per year, but this was repeatedly overspent. According to biographer Roy Jenkins, this is one reason he took an interest in war correspondence. He did not intend to follow a conventional career of promotion through army ranks, but to seek out all possible chances of military action and used his mother's and family influence in high society to arrange postings to active campaigns. His writings both brought him to the attention of the public, and earned him significant additional income. He acted as a war correspondent for several London newspapers and wrote his own books about the campaigns.
In 1895, Churchill travelled to Cuba to observe the Spanish fight the Cuban guerrillas; he had obtained a commission to write about the conflict from the Daily Graphic. To his delight, he came under fire for the first time on his twenty-first birthday. He had fond memories of Cuba as a "...large, rich, beautiful island..." While there, he soon acquired a taste for Havana cigars, which he would smoke for the rest of his life. While in New York, he stayed at the home of Bourke Cockran, an admirer of his mother's. Bourke was an established American politician, member of the House of Representatives and potential presidential candidate. He greatly influenced Churchill, both in his approach to oratory and politics, and encouraging a love of America.
In early October 1896, he was transferred to Bombay, British India. He was considered one of the best polo players in his regiment and led his team to many prestigious tournament victories.
In 1897, Churchill attempted to travel to both report and, if necessary, fight in the Greco-Turkish War, but this conflict effectively ended before he could arrive. Later, while preparing for a leave in England, he heard that three brigades of the British Army were going to fight against a Pashtun tribe and he asked his superior officer if he could join the fight. He fought under the command of General Jeffery, who was the commander of the second brigade operating in Malakand, in what is now Pakistan. Jeffery sent him with fifteen scouts to explore the Mamund Valley; while on reconnaissance, they encountered an enemy tribe, dismounted from their horses and opened fire. After an hour of shooting, their reinforcements, the 35th Sikhs arrived, and the fire gradually ceased and the brigade and the Sikhs marched on. Hundreds of tribesmen then ambushed them and opened fire, forcing them to retreat. As they were retreating four men were carrying an injured officer but the fierceness of the fight forced them to leave him behind. The man who was left behind was slashed to death before Churchill’s eyes; afterwards he wrote of the killer, "I forgot everything else at this moment except a desire to kill this man". However the Sikhs' numbers were being depleted so the next commanding officer told Churchill to get the rest of the men and boys to safety.
Before he left he asked for a note so he would not be charged with desertion. He received the note, quickly signed, and headed up the hill and alerted the other brigade, whereupon they then engaged the army. The fighting in the region dragged on for another two weeks before the dead could be recovered. He wrote in his journal: "Whether it was worth it I cannot tell." An account of the Siege of Malakand was published in December 1900 as The Story of the Malakand Field Force. He received £600 for his account. During the campaign, he also wrote articles for the newspapers The Pioneer and The Daily Telegraph. His account of the battle was one of his first published stories, for which he received £5 per column from The Daily Telegraph.
Churchill was transferred to Egypt in 1898 where he visited Luxor before joining an attachment of the 21st Lancers serving in the Sudan under the command of General Herbert Kitchener. During his time he encountered two future military officers, with whom he would later work, during the First World War: Douglas Haig, then a captain and John Jellicoe, then a gunboat lieutenant. While in the Sudan, he participated in what has been described as the last meaningful British cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898. He also worked as a war correspondent for the Morning Post. By October 1898, he had returned to Britain and begun his two-volume work; The River War, an account of the reconquest of the Sudan published the following year. Churchill resigned from the British Army effective from 5 May 1899.
He soon had his first opportunity to begin a Parliamentary career, when he was invited by Robert Ascroft to be the second Conservative Party candidate in Ascroft's Oldham constituency. In the event Ascroft's sudden death caused a double by-election and Churchill was one of the candidates. In the midst of a national trend against the Conservatives, both seats were lost; however Churchill was impressed by his vigorous campaigning.
I have had, in the last four years, the advantage, if it be an advantage, of many strange and varied experiences, from which the student of realities might draw profit and instruction. But nothing was so thrilling as this: to wait and struggle among these clanging, rending iron boxes, with the repeated explosions of the shells and the artillery, the noise of the projectiles striking the cars, the hiss as they passed in the air, the grunting and puffing of the engine--poor, tortured thing, hammered by at least a dozen shells, any one of which, by penetrating the boiler, might have made an end of all--the expectation of destruction as a matter of course, the realization of powerlessness, and the alternations of hope and despair--all this for seventy minutes by the clock with only four inches of twisted iron work to make the difference between danger, captivity, and shame on the one hand--safety, freedom, and triumph on the other.
He escaped from the prison camp and travelled almost 300 miles (480 km) to Portuguese Lourenço Marques in Delagoa Bay, with the assistance of an English mine manager. His escape made him a minor national hero for a time in Britain, though instead of returning home, he rejoined General Buller's army on its march to relieve the British at the Siege of Ladysmith and take Pretoria. This time, although continuing as a war correspondent, he gained a commission in the South African Light Horse. He was among the first British troops into Ladysmith and Pretoria. He and his cousin, the Duke of Marlborough, were able to get ahead of the rest of the troops in Pretoria, where they demanded and received the surrender of 52 Boer prison camp guards.
In 1900, Churchill returned to England on the RMS Dunottar Castle, the same ship on which he set sail for South Africa eight months earlier. He there published London to Ladysmith and a second volume of Boer war experiences, Ian Hamilton's March. Churchill stood again for parliament in Oldham in the general election of 1900 and won (his Conservative colleague, Crisp, was defeated) in the contest for two seats. After the 1900 general election he embarked on a speaking tour of Britain, followed by tours of the United States and Canada, earning in excess of £5,000.
In 1900, he retired from regular army and in 1902 joined the Imperial Yeomanry where he was commissioned as a Captain in the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars on 4 January 1902. In April 1905, he was promoted to Major and appointed to command of the Henley Squadron of the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars. In September 1916, he transferred to the territorial reserves of officers where he remained till retiring in 1924.
Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty at the start of World War I, but was obliged to leave the war cabinet after the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli. He attempted to obtain a commission as a brigade commander, but settled for command of a battalion. After spending some time with the Grenadier Guards he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding the 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, on 1 January 1916. Correspondence with his wife shows that his intent in taking up active service was to rehabilitate his reputation, but this was balanced by the serious risk of being killed. As a commander he continued to exhibit the reckless daring which had been a hallmark of all his military actions, although he disapproved strongly of the mass slaughter involved in many western front actions.
Churchill stood again for the seat of Oldham at the 1900 general election. After winning the seat, he went on a speaking tour throughout Britain and the United States, raising £10,000 for himself. In Parliament, he became associated with a faction of the Conservative Party led by Lord Hugh Cecil; the Hughligans. During his first parliamentary session, he opposed the government's military expenditure and Joseph Chamberlain's proposal of extensive tariffs, which were intended to protect Britain's economic dominance. His own constituency effectively deselected him, although he continued to sit for Oldham until the next general election. After the Whitsun recess in 1904 he crossed the floor to sit as a member of the Liberal Party. As a Liberal, he continued to campaign for free trade. When the Liberals took office with Henry Campbell-Bannerman as Prime Minister, in December 1905, Churchill became Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies dealing mainly with South Africa after the Boer War. From 1903 until 1905, Churchill was also engaged in writing Lord Randolph Churchill, a two-volume biography of his father which was published in 1906 and received much critical acclaim.
Following his deselection in the seat of Oldham, Churchill was invited to stand for Manchester North West. He won the seat at the 1906 general election with a majority of 1,214 and represented the seat for two years, until 1908. When Campbell-Bannerman was succeeded by Herbert Henry Asquith in 1908, Churchill was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade. Under the law at the time, a newly appointed Cabinet Minister was obliged to seek re-election at a by-election; Churchill lost his seat but was soon back as a member for Dundee constituency. As President of the Board of Trade he joined newly appointed Chancellor Lloyd George in opposing First Lord of the Admiralty, Reginald McKenna's proposed huge expenditure for the construction of Navy dreadnought warships, and in supporting the Liberal reforms. In 1908, he introduced the Trade Boards Bill setting up the first minimum wages in Britain, In 1909, he set up Labour Exchanges to help unemployed people find work. He helped draft the first unemployment pension legislation, the National Insurance Act of 1911.
Churchill also assisted in passing the People's Budget becoming President of the Budget League, an organisation set up in response to the opposition's "Budget Protest League". The budget included the introduction of new taxes on the wealthy to allow for the creation of new social welfare programmes. After the budget bill was sent to the Commons in 1909 and passed, it went to the House of Lords, where it was vetoed. The Liberals then fought and won two general elections in January and December 1910 to gain a mandate for their reforms. The budget was then passed following the Parliament Act 1911 for which he also campaigned. In 1910, he was promoted to Home Secretary. His term was controversial, after his responses to the Siege of Sidney Street and the dispute at the Cambrian Colliery and the suffragettes.
In 1910, a number of coal miners in the Rhondda Valley began what has come to be known as the Tonypandy Riot. The Chief Constable of Glamorgan requested troops be sent in to help police quell the rioting. Churchill, learning that the troops were already travelling, allowed them to go as far as Swindon and Cardiff but blocked their deployment. On 9 November, the Times criticized this decision. In spite of this, the rumour persists that Churchill had ordered troops to attack, and his reputation in Wales and in Labour circles never recovered.
In early January 1911, Churchill made a controversial visit to the Siege of Sidney Street in London. There is some uncertainty as to whether he attempted to give operational commands, and his presence attracted much criticism. After an inquest, Arthur Balfour remarked, "he and a photographer were both risking valuable lives. I understand what the photographer was doing, but what was the right honourable gentleman doing?" A biographer, Roy Jenkins, suggests that he went simply because "he could not resist going to see the fun himself" and that he did not issue commands.
Churchill's proposed solution to the suffragette issue was a referendum on the issue, but this found no favour with Herbert Henry Asquith and women's suffrage remained unresolved until after the First World War.
In 1911, Churchill was transferred to the office of the First Lord of the Admiralty, a post he held into World War I. He gave impetus to several reform efforts, including development of naval aviation (he undertook flying lessons himself), the construction of new and larger warships, the development of tanks, and the switch from coal to oil in the Royal Navy.
On 5 October 1914, Churchill went to Antwerp which the Belgian government proposed to evacuate. The Royal Marine Brigade was there and at Churchill’s urgings the 1st and 2nd Naval Brigades were also committed. Antwerp fell on 10 October with the loss of 2500 men. At the time he was attacked for squandering resources. It is more likely that his actions prolonged the resistance by a week (Belgium had proposed surrendering Antwerp on 3 October) and that this time saved Calais and Dunkirk.
Churchill was involved with the development of the tank, which was financed from naval research funds. He then headed the Landships Committee which was responsible for creating the first tank corps and, although a decade later development of the battle tank would be seen as a tactical victory, at the time it was seen as misappropriation of funds. In 1915, he was one of the political and military engineers of the disastrous Gallipoli landings on the Dardanelles during World War I. He took much of the blame for the fiasco, and when Prime Minister Asquith formed an all-party coalition government, the Conservatives demanded his demotion as the price for entry.
For several months Churchill served in the sinecure of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. However on 15 November 1915 he resigned from the government, feeling his energies were not being used. and, though remaining an MP, served for several months on the Western Front commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, under the rank of Colonel. In March 1916, Churchill returned to England after he had become restless in France and wished to speak again in the House of Commons. In July 1917, Churchill was appointed Minister of Munitions, and in January 1919, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air. He was the main architect of the Ten Year Rule, a principle that allows the Treasury to dominate and control strategic, foreign and financial policies under the assumption that "there would be no great European war for the next five or ten years".
A major preoccupation of his tenure in the War Office was the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. Churchill was a staunch advocate of foreign intervention, declaring that Bolshevism must be "strangled in its cradle". He secured, from a divided and loosely organised Cabinet, intensification and prolongation of the British involvement beyond the wishes of any major group in Parliament or the nation—and in the face of the bitter hostility of Labour. In 1920, after the last British forces had been withdrawn, Churchill was instrumental in having arms sent to the Poles when they invaded Ukraine. He became Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1921 and was a signatory of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which established the Irish Free State. Churchill was involved in the lengthy negotiations of the treaty and to protect British maritime interests, he engineered part of the Irish Free State agreement to include three Treaty Ports—Queenstown (Cobh), Berehaven and Lough Swilly—which could be used as Atlantic bases by the Royal Navy. Under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement the bases were returned to the newly renamed "Ireland" in 1938.
I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.
If British forces did consider the use of poison gas in putting down Kurdish rebellions, there is no evidence that it was ever used.
Churchill was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1924 under Stanley Baldwin and oversaw Britain's disastrous return to the Gold Standard, which resulted in deflation, unemployment, and the miners' strike that led to the General Strike of 1926. His decision, announced in the 1924 Budget, came after long consultation with various economists including John Maynard Keynes, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Sir Otto Niemeyer and the board of the Bank of England. This decision prompted Keynes to write The Economic Consequences of Mr. Churchill, arguing that the return to the gold standard at the pre-war parity in 1925 (£1=$4.86) would lead to a world depression. However, the decision was generally popular and seen as 'sound economics' although it was opposed by Lord Beaverbrook and the Federation of British Industries.
The return to the pre-war exchange rate and to the Gold Standard depressed industries. The most affected was the coal industry. Already suffering from declining output as shipping switched to oil, as basic British industries like cotton came under more competition in export markets, the return to the pre-war exchange was estimated to add up to 10% in costs to the industry. In July 1925, a Commission of Inquiry reported generally favouring the miners, rather than the mine owners' position. Baldwin, with Churchill's support proposed a subsidy to the industry while a Royal Commission prepared a further report.
Later economists, as well as people at the time, also criticised Churchill's budget measures. These were seen as assisting the generally prosperous rentier banking and salaried classes (to which Churchill and his associates generally belonged) at the expense of manufacturers and exporters which were known then to be suffering from imports and from competition in traditional export markets, and as paring the Armed Forces too heavily.
The Conservative government was defeated in the 1929 General Election. Churchill did not seek election to the Conservative Business Committee, the official leadership of the Conservative MPs. Over the next two years, Churchill became estranged from the Conservative leadership over the issues of protective tariffs and Indian Home Rule and by his political views and by his friendships with press barons, financiers and people whose characters were seen as dubious. When Ramsay MacDonald formed the National Government in 1931, Churchill was not invited to join the Cabinet. He was at the low point in his career, in a period known as "the wilderness years".
He spent much of the next few years concentrating on his writing, including Marlborough: His Life and Times—a biography of his ancestor John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough—and A History of the English Speaking Peoples (though the latter was not published until well after World War II), Great Contemporaries and many newspaper articles and collections of speeches. He was one of the best paid writers of his time. His political views, set forth in his 1930 Romanes Election and published as Parliamentary Government and the Economic Problem (republished in 1932 in his collection of essays "Thoughts and Adventures") involved abandoning universal suffrage, a return to a property franchise, proportional representation for the major cities and an economic 'sub parliament'.
During the first half of the 1930s, Churchill was outspoken in his opposition to granting Dominion status to India. He was one of the founders of the India Defence League, a group dedicated to the preservation of British power in India. In speeches and press articles in this period he forecast widespread British unemployment and civil strife in India should independence be granted. The Viceroy Lord Irwin who had been appointed by the prior Conservative Government engaged in the Round Table Conference in early 1931 and then announced the Government's policy that India should be granted Dominion Status. In this the Government was supported by the Liberal Party and, officially at least, by the Conservative Party. Churchill denounced the Round Table Conference.
There were two incidents which damaged Churchill's reputation greatly within the Conservative Party in the period. Both were taken as attacks on the Conservative front bench. The first was his speech on the eve of the St George by-election in April 1931. In a secure Conservative seat, the official Conservative candidate Duff Cooper was opposed by an independent Conservative. The independent was supported by Lord Rothermere, Lord Beaverbrook and their respective newspapers. Although arranged before the by election was set, Churchill's speech was seen as supporting the independent candidate and as a part of the Press Baron's campaign against Baldwin. Baldwin's position was strengthened when Duff Cooper won and when the civil disobedience campaign in India ceased with the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The second issue was a claim that Sir Samuel Hoare and Lord Derby had pressured the Manchester Chamber of Commerce to change evidence it had given to the Joint Select Committee considering the Government of India Bill and in doing so had breached Parliamentary privilege. He had the matter referred to the House of Commons Privilege Committee which after investigations, in which Churchill gave evidence reported to the House that there had been no breach. The report was debated on 13 June. Churchill was unable to find a single supporter in the House and the debate ended without a division.
Churchill permanently broke with Stanley Baldwin over Indian independence and never held any office while Baldwin was Prime Minister. Some historians see his basic attitude to India as being set out in his book My Early Life (1930). Historians also dispute his motives in maintaining his opposition. Some see him as trying to destabilise the National Government. Some also draw a parallel between Churchill's attitudes to India and those towards the Nazis.
Under his command, an estimated 3 million people died in the Bengal famine of 1943.
Beginning in 1932, when he opposed those who advocated giving Germany the right to military parity with France, Churchill spoke often of the dangers of Germany's rearmament. He later, particularly in The Gathering Storm, portrayed himself as being for a time, a lone voice calling on Britain to strengthen itself to counter the belligerence of Germany. However Lord Lloyd was the first to so agitate. Churchill's attitude toward the fascist dictators was ambiguous. In 1931, he warned against the League of Nations opposing the Japanese in Manchuria "I hope we shall try in England to understand the position of Japan, an ancient state.... On the one side they have the dark menace of Soviet Russia. On the other the chaos of China, four or five provinces of which are being tortured under Communist rule". In contemporary newspaper articles he referred to the Spanish Republican government as a Communist front, and Franco's army as the "Anti-red movement". He supported the Hoare-Laval Pact and continued up until 1937 to praise Benito Mussolini.
Speaking in the House of Commons in 1937, Churchill said "I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between communism and Nazism, I would choose communism". In a 1935 essay, entitled "Hitler and his Choice" as republished in Churchill's 1937 book Great Contemporaries, Churchill expressed a hope that Hitler, if he so chose, and despite his rise to power through dictatorial action, hatred, and cruelty, he might yet "go down in history as the man who restored honour and peace of mind to the great Germanic nation and brought it back serene, helpful and strong, to the forefront of the European family circle." Churchill's first major speech on defence on 7 February 1934 stressed the need to rebuild the Royal Air Force and to create a Ministry of Defence; his second, on 13 July urged a renewed role for the League of Nations. These three topics remained his themes until early 1936. In 1935, he was one of the founding members of Focus which brought together people of differing political backgrounds and occupations who were united in seeking 'the defence of freedom and peace'. Focus led to the formation of the much wider Arms and the Covenant Movement in 1936.
Churchill was holidaying in Spain when the Germans reoccupied the Rhineland in February 1936, and returned to a divided Britain—Labour opposition was adamant in opposing sanctions and the National Government was divided between advocates of economic sanctions and those who said that even these would lead to a humiliating backdown by Britain as France would not support any intervention. Churchill's speech on 9 March was measured and praised by Neville Chamberlain as constructive. But within weeks Churchill was passed over for the post of Minister for Co-ordination of Defence in favour of the Attorney General Sir Thomas Inskip. Alan Taylor called this; 'An appointment rightly described as the most extraordinary since Caligula made his horse a consul.' In June 1936, Churchill organised a deputation of senior Conservatives who shared his concern to see Baldwin, Chamberlain and Halifax. He had tried to have delegates from the other two parties and later wrote "If the leaders of the Labour and Liberal oppositions had come with us there might have been a political situation so intense as to enforce remedial action". As it was the meeting achieved little, Baldwin arguing that the Government was doing all it could given the anti-war feeling of the electorate.
R.R. James called this one of Churchill’s most brilliant speeches in this period, Baldwin's reply sounding weak and disturbing the House. The exchange gave new encouragement to the Arms and the Covenant Movement.
In June 1936, Walter Monckton told Churchill that the rumours that King Edward VIII intended to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson were true. Churchill then advised against the marriage and said he regarded Mrs Simpson's existing marriage as a 'safeguard'. In November, he declined Lord Salisbury's invitation to be part of a delegation of senior Conservative backbenchers who met with Baldwin to discuss the matter. On 25 November he, Attlee and Liberal leader Archibald Sinclair met with Baldwin, were told officially of the King's intention, and asked whether they would form an administration if Baldwin and the National Government resigned should the King not take the Ministry's advice. Both Attlee and Sinclair said they would not take office if invited to do so. Churchill's reply was that his attitude was a little different but he would support the government.
The Abdication crisis became public, coming to head in the first fortnight of December 1936. At this time Churchill publicly gave his support to the King. The first public meeting of the Arms and the Covenant Movement was on 3 December. Churchill was a major speaker and later wrote that in replying to the Vote of Thanks he made a declaration 'on the spur of the moment' asking for delay before any decision was made by either the King or his Cabinet. Later that night Churchill saw the draft of the King's proposed wireless broadcast and spoke with Beaverbrook and the King's solicitor about it. On 4 December, he met with the King and again urged delay in any decision about abdication. On 5 December, he issued a lengthy statement implying that the Ministry was applying unconstitutional pressure on the King to force him to make a hasty decision. On 7 December he tried to address the Commons to plead for delay. He was shouted down. Seemingly staggered by the unanimous hostility of all Members he left.
Churchill's reputation in Parliament and England as a whole was badly damaged. Some such as Alistair Cooke saw him as trying to build a King's Party. Others like Harold Macmillan were dismayed by the damage Churchill's support for the King had done to the Arms and the Covenant Movement. Churchill himself later wrote "I was myself smitten in public opinion that it was the almost universal view that my political life was ended." Historians are divided about Churchill's motives in his support for Edward VIII. Some such as A J P Taylor see it as being an attempt to 'overthrow the government of feeble men'. Others such as Rhode James see Churchill's motives as entirely honourable and disinterested, that he felt deeply for the King.
Churchill later sought to portray himself as an isolated voice warning of the need to rearm against Germany. While it is true that he had little following in the House of Commons during much of the 1930s he was given considerable privileges by the Government. The “Churchill group” in the later half of the decade consisted only of himself, Duncan Sandys and Brendan Bracken. It was isolated from the other main factions within the Conservative Party pressing for faster rearmament and a stronger foreign policy. In some senses the ‘exile’ was more apparent than real. Churchill continued to be consulted on many matters by the Government or seen as an alternative leader.
Even during the time Churchill was campaigning against Indian independence, he received official and otherwise secret information. From 1932, Churchill’s neighbour, Major Desmond Morton with Ramsay MacDonald's approval, gave Churchill information on German air power. From 1930 onwards Morton headed a department of the Committee of Imperial Defence charged with researching the defence preparedness of other nations. Lord Swinton as Secretary of State for Air, and with Baldwin’s approval, in 1934 gave Churchill access to official and otherwise secret information.
After the outbreak of World War II, on 3 September 1939 the day Britain declared war on Germany, Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet, just as he had been during the first part of World War I. When they were informed, the Board of the Admiralty sent a signal to the Fleet: "Winston is back". In this job, he proved to be one of the highest-profile ministers during the so-called "Phony War", when the only noticeable action was at sea. Churchill advocated the pre-emptive occupation of the neutral Norwegian iron-ore port of Narvik and the iron mines in Kiruna, Sweden, early in the war. However, Chamberlain and the rest of the War Cabinet disagreed, and the operation was delayed until the successful German invasion of Norway.
On 10 May 1940, hours before the German invasion of France by a lightning advance through the Low Countries, it became clear that, following failure in Norway, the country had no confidence in Chamberlain's prosecution of the war and so Chamberlain resigned. The commonly accepted version of events states that Lord Halifax turned down the post of Prime Minister because he believed he could not govern effectively as a member of the House of Lords instead of the House of Commons. Although the Prime Minister does not traditionally advise the King on the former's successor, Chamberlain wanted someone who would command the support of all three major parties in the House of Commons. A meeting between Chamberlain, Halifax, Churchill and David Margesson, the government Chief Whip, led to the recommendation of Churchill, and, as a constitutional monarch, George VI asked Churchill to be Prime Minister and to form an all-party government. Churchill's first act was to write to Chamberlain to thank him for his support.
Churchill had been among the first to recognize the growing threat of Hitler long before the outset of the Second World War, and his warnings had gone largely unheeded. Although there was an element of British public and political sentiment favouring negotiated peace with a clearly ascendant Germany, among them the Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, Churchill nonetheless refused to consider an armistice with Hitler's Germany. His use of rhetoric hardened public opinion against a peaceful resolution and prepared the British for a long war. Coining the general term for the upcoming battle, Churchill stated in his "finest hour" speech to the House of Commons on 18 June 1940, "I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin." By refusing an armistice with Germany, Churchill kept resistance alive in the British Empire and created the basis for the later Allied counter-attacks of 1942-45, with Britain serving as a platform for the supply of Soviet Union and the liberation of Western Europe.
In response to previous criticisms that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of the war, Churchill created and took the additional position of Minister of Defence. He immediately put his friend and confidant, the industrialist and newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook, in charge of aircraft production. It was Beaverbrook's business acumen that allowed Britain to quickly gear up aircraft production and engineering that eventually made the difference in the war.
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'.
This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Without having much in the way of sustenance or good news to offer the British people, he took a political risk in deliberately choosing to emphasise the dangers instead.
Churchill's good relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt secured vital food, oil and munitions via the North Atlantic shipping routes. It was for this reason that Churchill was relieved when Roosevelt was re-elected in 1940. Upon re-election, Roosevelt immediately set about implementing a new method of providing military hardware and shipping to Britain without the need for monetary payment. Put simply, Roosevelt persuaded Congress that repayment for this immensely costly service would take the form of defending the US; and so Lend-lease was born. Churchill had 12 strategic conferences with Roosevelt which covered the Atlantic Charter, Europe first strategy, the Declaration by the United Nations and other war policies. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, Churchill's first thought in anticipation of US help was, "We have won the war!" On 26 December 1941, Churchill addressed a joint meeting of the US Congress, asking of Germany and Japan, "What kind of people do they think we are?" Churchill initiated the Special Operations Executive (SOE) under Hugh Dalton's Ministry of Economic Warfare, which established, conducted and fostered covert, subversive and partisan operations in occupied territories with notable success; and also the Commandos which established the pattern for most of the world's current Special Forces. The Russians referred to him as the "British Bulldog".
When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill, a vehement anti-Communist, famously stated "If Hitler were to invade Hell, I should find occasion to make a favorable reference to the Devil," regarding his policy toward Stalin. Soon, British supplies and tanks were flowing to help the Soviet Union.
The settlement concerning the borders of Poland, that is, the boundary between Poland and the Soviet Union and between Germany and Poland, was viewed as a betrayal in Poland during the post-war years, as it was established against the views of the Polish government in exile. It was Winston Churchill, who tried to motivate Mikołajczyk, who was Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile, to accept Stalin's wishes, but Mikołajczyk refused. Churchill was convinced that the only way to alleviate tensions between the two populations was the transfer of people, to match the national borders.
As he expounded in the House of Commons on 15 December 1944, "Expulsion is the method which, insofar as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble... A clean sweep will be made. I am not alarmed by these transferences, which are more possible in modern conditions." However the resulting expulsions of Germans were carried out in a way which resulted in much hardship and, according to a 1966 report by the West German Ministry of Refugees and Displaced Persons, the death of over 2.1 million. Churchill opposed the effective annexation of Poland by the Soviet Union and wrote bitterly about it in his books, but he was unable to prevent it at the conferences.
Let us settle about our affairs in the Balkans. Your armies are in Rumania and Bulgaria. We have interests, missions, and agents there. Don't let us get at cross-purposes in small ways. So far as Britain and Russia are concerned, how would it do for you to have ninety per cent predominance in Rumania, for us to have ninety per cent of the say in Greece, and go fifty-fifty about Yugoslavia?
Stalin agreed to this Percentages Agreement, ticking a piece of paper as he heard the translation. In 1958, five years after the recount of this meeting was published (in The Second World War), authorities of the Soviet denied that Stalin accepted the "imperialist proposal".
One of the conclusions of the Yalta Conference was that the Allies would return all Soviet citizens that found themselves in the Allied zone to the Soviet Union. This immediately affected the Soviet prisoners of war liberated by the Allies, but was also extended to all Eastern European refugees.
It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed ... I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive.
It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of the so called 'area-bombing' of German cities should be reviewed from the point of view of our own interests. If we come into control of an entirely ruined land, there will be a great shortage of accommodation for ourselves and our allies ... We must see to it that our attacks do no more harm to ourselves in the long run than they do to the enemy's war effort.
Ultimately, responsibility for the British part of the attack lay with Churchill, which is why he has been criticised for allowing the bombings to happen. The German historian Jörg Friedrich, claims that "Winston Churchill's decision to bomb a shattered Germany between January and May 1945 was a war crime" and writing in 2006 the philosopher A. C. Grayling questioned the whole strategic bombing campaign by the RAF presenting the argument that although it was not a war crime it was a moral crime and undermines the Allies contention that they fought a just war.
In June 1944, the Allied Forces invaded Normandy and pushed the Nazi forces back into Germany on a broad front over the coming year. After being attacked on three fronts by the Allies, Germany was soon defeated. On 7 May 1945 at the SHAEF headquarters in Rheims the Allies accepted Germany's surrender. On the same day in a BBC news flash John Snagge announced that 8 May would be Victory in Europe Day. On Victory in Europe Day, Churchill broadcast to the nation that Germany had surrendered and that a final cease fire on all fronts in Europe would come into effect at one minute past midnight that night. Afterwards Churchill told a huge crowd in Whitehall: "This is your victory." The people shouted: "No, it is yours", and Churchill then conducted them in the singing of Land of Hope and Glory. In the evening he made another broadcast to the nation asserting the defeat of Japan in the coming months. The Japanese later surrendered on 15 August 1945.
As Europe celebrated peace at the end of six years of war, Churchill was concerning on the possibility that the celebrations would soon be brutally interrupted. He concluded that the UK and the US must prepare for the Red Army ignoring previously-agreed frontiers and agreements in Europe "to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire." According to the Operation Unthinkable plan ordered by Churchill and developed by the British Armed Forces, the Third World War could have started on 1 July 1945 with a sudden attack against the allied Soviet troops. The plan was rejected by the British Chiefs of Staff Committee as militarily unfeasible. However this decision didn't stop the further development of the war plans: with the beginning Arms race the militarily unfeasible Third World War was developed into the Cold War doctrine.
Although Churchill's role in World War II had generated him much support from the British population, he was defeated in the 1945 election. Many reasons for this have been given, key among them being that a desire for post-war reform was widespread amongst the population and that the man who had led Britain in war was not seen as the man to lead the nation in peace.
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere.
Churchill also argued strongly for British independence from the European Coal and Steel Community, which he saw as a Franco-German project. He saw Britain's place as separate from the continent, much more in-line with the countries of the Commonwealth and the Empire and with the United States, the so-called Anglosphere.
This was followed by events which became known as the Malayan Emergency. In Malaya, a rebellion against British rule had been in progress since 1948. Once again, Churchill's government inherited a crisis, and Churchill chose to use direct military action against those in rebellion while attempting to build an alliance with those who were not. While the rebellion was slowly being defeated, it was equally clear that colonial rule from Britain was no longer sustainable.
Churchill also devoted much of his time in office to Anglo-American relations and although Churchill did not get on well with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Churchill attempted to maintain the special relationship with the United States. He made four official transatlantic visits to America during his second term as Prime Minister.
In June 1953, when he was 78, Churchill suffered a stroke at 10 Downing Street. News of this was kept from the public and from Parliament, who were told that Churchill was suffering from exhaustion. He went to his country home, Chartwell, to recuperate from the effects of the stroke which had affected his speech and ability to walk. He returned to public life in October to make a speech at a Conservative Party conference at Margate. However, aware that he was slowing down both physically and mentally, Churchill retired as Prime Minister in 1955 and was succeeded by Anthony Eden.
After leaving the premiership, Churchill spent less time in parliament until he stood down at the 1964 General Election. As a mere "back-bencher," Churchill spent most of his retirement at Chartwell and at his home in Hyde Park Gate, in London. As his mental and physical faculties decayed, he began to lose the battle he had fought for so long against the "black dog" of depression. In 1963, US President John F. Kennedy, acting under authorisation granted by an Act of Congress, proclaimed him an Honorary Citizen of the United States, but he was unable to attend the White House ceremony. On 15 January 1965, Churchill suffered a severe stroke that left him gravely ill. He died at his home nine days later, at age 90, on the morning of Sunday 24 January 1965, coincidentally 70 years to the day after his father's death.
By decree of the Queen, his body lay in state for three days and a state funeral service was held at St Paul's Cathedral. As his coffin passed down the Thames from Tower Pier to Festival Pier on the Havengore, dockers lowered their crane jibs in a salute. The coffin was then taken the short distance to Waterloo Station where it was loaded onto a specially prepared and painted carriage - Southern Railway Van S2464S - as part of the funeral train for its rail journey to Bladon. The Royal Artillery fired a 19-gun salute (as head of government), and the RAF staged a fly-by of sixteen English Electric Lightning fighters. The funeral also saw one of the largest assemblage of statesmen in the world until the 2005 funeral of Pope John Paul II. The funeral train of Pullman coaches carrying his family mourners was hauled by Bulleid Pacific steam locomotive No. 34051 "Winston Churchill". In the fields along the route, and at the stations through which the train passed, thousands stood in silence to pay their last respects. At Churchill's request, he was buried in the family plot at St Martin's Church, Bladon, near Woodstock, not far from his birthplace at Blenheim Palace. Churchill's funeral van - Southern Railway Van S2464S - is now part of a preservation project with the Swanage Railway having been repatriated to the UK in 2007 from the USA where it was exported in 1965.
Winston Churchill was also an accomplished artist and took great pleasure in painting, especially after his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915. He found a haven in art to overcome the spells of depression—or as he termed it, the "Black Dog"—which he suffered throughout his life. As William Rees-Mogg has stated, "In his own life, he had to suffer the 'black dog' of depression. In his landscapes and still lives there is no sign of depression". He is best known for his impressionist scenes of landscape, many of which were painted while on holiday in the South of France or Morocco. He continued his hobby throughout his life and painted dozens of paintings, many of which are on show in the studio at Chartwell.
Despite his lifelong fame and upper-class origins Churchill always struggled to keep his income at a level that would fund his extravagant lifestyle. MPs before 1946 received only a nominal salary (and in fact did not receive anything at all until the Parliament Act 1911) so many had secondary professions from which to earn a living. From his first book in 1898 until his second stint as Prime Minister, Churchill's income was almost entirely made from writing books and opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines. The most famous of his newspaper articles are those that appeared in the Evening Standard from 1936 warning of the rise of Hitler and the danger of the policy of appeasement.
Churchill was also a prolific writer of books, writing a novel, two biographies, three volumes of memoirs, and several histories in addition to his many newspaper articles. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values". Two of his most famous works, published after his first premiereship brought his international fame to new heights, were his six-volume memoir The Second World War and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples; a four-volume history covering the period from Caesar's invasions of Britain (55 BC) to the beginning of the First World War (1914).
Aside from receiving the great honour of a state funeral, Churchill also received numerous awards and honours, including being made the first Honorary Citizen of the United States. Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his numerous published works, especially his six-edition set The Second World War. In a 2002 BBC poll of the "100 Greatest Britons", he was proclaimed "The Greatest of Them All" based on approximately a million votes from BBC viewers. Churchill was also rated as one of the most influential leaders in history by Time magazine.
When Churchill was 88 he was asked by the Duke of Edinburgh how he would like to be remembered. He replied with a scholarship like the Rhodes scholarship but for the wider masses. After his death, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established in Great Britain and Australia. A Churchill Trust Memorial Day was held in Australia, raising $AUD4.3 million. Since that time the Churchill Trust in Australia has supported over 3,000 scholarship recipients in a diverse variety of fields, where merit, either on the basis of past experience, or potential, and the propensity to contribute to the community have been the only criteria. The Churchill Trust is today one of the most prestigious fellowships in the Commonwealth.
The national and Commonwealth memorial to Churchill is Churchill College, at the University of Cambridge, which was founded in 1958. It is also home to the Churchill Archives Centre, which holds the papers of Sir Winston Churchill and over 570 collections of personal papers and archives documenting the history of the Churchill era and after.
Winston Churchill High School (Montgomery County, Maryland)
Winston Churchill High School, often referred to as WCHS or Churchill, is a high school in Potomac, an unincorporated section of Montgomery County, Maryland.
The school is named after Winston Churchill, British statesman and politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during and after the Second World War. The school was founded in 1964 and is part of the Montgomery County Public Schools system. The majority of the students come from Herbert Hoover Middle School (60%) and Cabin John Middle School (40%). The principal as of October 2008 is Dr. Joan C. Benz.
Churchill was in the top 100 High Schools in the United States in 2006 and 2007. It has several different departments, including Alternative Education, ESSO Program, Art, the Bridge Program, Computer Science, English, Family Science, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, and Theater.
The school also has a Signature Program, which allows students the opportunity to follow one of several course paths to specialize in a particular career field. The Signature Program comprises three academies: The Academy of Math, Science, & Technology; The Academy of International Studies; and The Academy of Creative and Performing Arts.
Churchill was given the 2006-2007 Maryland Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence by the Maryland State Department of Education.
Churchill was selected as a 2007 National No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
Many theater productions are put on regularly, including several nights of one-act plays in which many students are able to participate. Theater classes at three levels and a television production class are taught.
In 2007, Churchill's fall production of Singin' in the Rain was nominated for 6 Cappies High School Theater Awards: Best Orchestra, Best Cameo Actor, Best Cameo Actress, Best Featured Actor, Best Lead Actor, and Best Musical, winning Best Orchestra(for the third year in a row), Best Cameo Actor, and Best Cameo Actress. Only one other school received more awards.
Churchill is well known for its annual Blast From the Past production, in which over 200 student singers, dancers, and musicians perform a variety of popular songs from the 1950s to today, which all relate to a selected theme for each year.
David Levin and Kristofer Sanz conduct Churchill's bands and orchestras. Levin is also the conductor of the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras (MCYO) Philharmonic Orchestra.
Many students form their own bands, typically of a rock variety, and the school occasionally facilitates this by sponsoring a battle of the bands or allowing band performances or even day-long concerts (such as The Merritthon, a fundraising event for Leukemia research which occurred annually from 2002 through 2004) to take place on school grounds.
Churchill produces three publications, all of which have won awards: its newspaper, The Churchill Observer; its yearbook, Finest Hours, and its literary magazine, Erehwon. Each publication is accompanied by three levels of instruction in the related publishing topics.
Winston Churchill High School
Winston Churchill High School may refer to a number of schools, all named after Winston Churchill, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955.
Winston Churchill (1620–1688)
Sir Winston Churchill FRS (18 April 1620 – 26 March 1688), known as the Cavalier Colonel, was an English soldier, historian, and politician. He was the father of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, as well as an ancestor of his 20th century namesake, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
Churchill was the son of John Churchill (b. c. 1596), a lawyer, and wife (m. 1620), Sarah Winston (b. c. 1598), daughter of Sir Henry Winston and wife. The Churchills were an old Dorset family. He was educated at St John's College, Oxford, but left university without taking a degree. Churchill was a fervent Royalist through his life and fought and was wounded Civil War as a Captain in the King's Horse and, after the Royalists were defeated, was forced to pay a recompense fee of £4,446. After the Restoration he sat as Tory Member of Parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis from 1661 to 1679 and for Lyme Regis from 1685 to 1688. Churchill was also a Commissioner of the Irish Court of Claims and Explanations between 1662 and 1668 and a Junior Clerk Comptroller to the Board of Green Cloth from 1664 to 1679. He was knighted in 1664 and made a Fellow of the Royal Society the same year. He also published a history of the kings of England, entitled Divi Britannica; being a remark upon the Lives of all the Kings of this Isle, from the year of the World 2855 until the year of Grace 1660.
In 1643 Churchill married Elizabeth Drake, daughter of Sir John Drake (d. 25 August 1636) and wife Eleanor Boteler, daughter of the 1st Baron Boteler of Brantfield and maternal niece of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. They had twelve children, of whom only five survived infancy. Three of their sons gained distinction. The aforementioned John became a famous military commander and was created Duke of Marlborough, Charles Churchill (2 February 1656 – 1714) became a Lieutenant-General in the Army and married Mary Gould (later married to the 2nd Earl of Abingdon), while George Churchill became an Admiral in the Royal Navy. One of their daughters was Arabella Churchill. Churchill died in March 1688, aged 67. Recently on the Monday, February 16, 2009 episode of the "Bachelor" Jason Mesnick takes one of his three remaining potential lifemates (Melissa Rycroft) from Dallas, Texas, on a boat ride in New Zealand upon a boat that was actually owned by Winston Churchill.
Winston Churchill Memorial and Library
The Winston Churchill Memorial and Library in the United States, located on the Westminster College campus in Fulton, Missouri, commemorates the life and times of Sir Winston Churchill. In 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous "Sinews of Peace" address in the Westminster historic gymnasium. His speech, due to one particularly famous phrase ("an ‘iron curtain’ has descended across the continent"), has come to be known as the "Iron Curtain" speech. One of Churchill's most famous speeches of all time, "Sinews of Peace" heralded the beginning of the Cold War.
In order to pay tribute to Sir Winston Churchill's life and to his great speech, the Churchill Memorial comprises three distinct, but related elements: the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, the museum, and the "Breakthrough" sculpture.
The central element of the Churchill Memorial is the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, a 16th century church moved stone-by-stone to Fulton from the City of London. Today, the church looks much as it did in 1677—carefully restored to recreate the marvelous building that architect Christopher Wren designed after the Great Fire of London destroyed the original 12th century church.
Beneath the church is the Churchill museum, renovated in 2006. Through interactive new exhibits, the museum tells Churchill's story, discussing his personal and political life and his legacy. Additionally, the Clementine-Spencer Churchill Reading Room houses an extensive research collection about Churchill and his era.
Outside the church stands the "Breakthrough" sculpture, formed from eight sections of the Berlin Wall. Churchill's granddaughter, artist Edwina Sandys, designed "Breakthrough" in order to commemorate both Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" and the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Breakthrough" is a fitting postscript to the Cold War that Churchill had predicted.
In 1946, Winston Churchill travelled to Westminster College in order to deliver his famous "Sinews of Peace" address as a part of the Green Lecture series. An extraordinary confluence of circumstances conspired to bring Winston Churchill to Westminster. At the time, the College had a unique connection to US President Harry Truman's administration—Major General Harry Vaughan, a graduate of Westminster College. College president Franc McCluer asked Vaughan to see what President Truman could do to induce Churchill to come to Westminster. President Truman thought the idea of bringing Churchill to Missouri (Truman's native state) was a wonderful idea. On the bottom of Churchill's invitation from Westminster College Truman wrote: "This is a wonderful school in my home state. Hope you can do it. I will introduce you." So it was that two world leaders, Winston Churchill and President Harry Truman, descended onto the little campus of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
In order to counterbalance the mounting power of the Soviet Union, Churchill called for a "fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples." Churchill hoped the United States and Britain would work together towards the "permanent prevention of war" and "establish conditions of freedom and democracy" all over the globe. The cooperation of these two nations, he hoped, would create the "sinews of peace." He went on to encourage the leaders of both the United States and Britain to begin peace-talks with the Soviet Union. Churchill feared the outbreak of a new world war, especially in light of the development of nuclear weapons. "Now war can find any nation, wherever it may dwell between dusk and dawn," he warned. Churchill knew all to well the devastation conventional bombs had wreaked on Britain during the Blitz—a similar campaign waged with nuclear weapons would be too horrible to imagine.
Reactions to the "Sinews of Peace" were mixed; some were suspicious of Churchill's proposed alliance between the United States and Britain and accused Churchill of warmongering. Others were provoked by Churchill's claim that "there never was a war in history easier to prevent by timely action than the one which has just desolated such great areas of the globe." "It could have been prevented in my opinion without firing a shot…," he continued, "but no one would listen and one by one we were all sucked into the awful whirlpool…." This was an ironic statement, considering Churchill's disgust for appeasement policies and his role as one of the principal leaders of World War II.
Others lauded the speech for its prophetic qualities—particularly Churchill's anticipation of the formation of the Soviet Bloc—a view shared by many modern-day historians. Churchill predicted the Cold War, sounded its early warning, and defined the central problems that would occupy the leaders that followed him. As a result, the "Sinews of Peace" is widely regarded as Churchill's most famous peace-time address.
President Harry Truman predicted that Churchill's address would put both Fulton and Westminster College on the map—he was right. The construction of the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library ensures that Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" and Westminster's role in brining it to life will never be forgotten. Today, visitors to the Churchill Memorial may view filmed selections of the speech. In addition, the podium and chair that Winston Churchill used during his lecture are on display in the museum.
As early as 1961, Westminster College President Dr. Robert L. D. Davidson began formulating a plan to commemorate both Winston Churchill's life and the "Sinews of Peace." A LIFE magazine feature on war-ravaged, soon-to-be-demolished Christopher Wren churches in London prompted the suggestion to import one of the churches to serve as both a memorial and the College chapel. After further investigation, college officials selected St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury as the church to be saved.
St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury was not only an ideal choice because of its relatively small size, but also because of its unique and nearly 1,000 year history. St. Mary's was a focal-point of religious life in the Old City of London, serving as a place of worship for literary greats William Shakespeare and John Milton. Founded in the late 12th century, the church shared in the rich history of London, surviving both the English Reformation, Restoration, and numerous civil wars. However, on September 2, 1666, the church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, which swept through St. Mary's parish, burning for five days. When the fire was finally subdued, almost the entire City of London north of the Thames—including St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury—lay in ruins.
With so much of London in ruins, reconstruction of the many churches destroyed in the fire was of secondary importance—many would never be rebuilt. However, St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury became the ninth church restored, placing it among the earliest. With approval for rebuilding granted in 1670, famed architect Christopher Wren began renovating the church in 1672 with the removal of 1,068 cubic yards (817 m3) of rubble. Wren rebuilt the church on part of the old foundation with as much original stones as could be salvaged—saving both time and money. By 1677, the work was essentially complete; the cupola was added to the tower in 1679.
That night, thirteen Christopher Wren churches shared St. Mary's fate. By morning, only its blackened shell and tower stood—the roof, the interior, and all furnishings destroyed. In the war's aftermath, there were neither the funds nor the need to rebuild all of London's destroyed churches. After standing as a ruin for twenty years, St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury joined the list of parish churches slated for demolition.
It took four years to finalize preparations for the project, and to raise the necessary $2 million (more than $10 million today) to make the move a reality. Actor Richard Burton was a major promoter and donor, appearing on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar on NBC, who made a direct appeal. In 1965, the removal process began. Workers carefully labeled each of the 7,000 stones, noting their location in the church. More than 700 tons of blocks were shipped to Fulton via boat and rail. In the moving process, the carefully ordered stones became scrambled. Builders in Fulton faced a jigsaw puzzle that spread over an acre.
With a collection of the church's outer stones piled beside him, President Truman arrived in Fulton to turn the symbolic first shovel for the reconstruction on April 19, 1964, before a crowd of 10,000 on-lookers. Fittingly, former Westminster President Franc McCluer and the other living members of the 1946 platform party joined in the ceremonies. Other attendees included former British Ambassador Averill Harriman, the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Mary Soames (Churchill's youngest daughter), British Ambassador John Freeman, and former Missouri Governor John M. Dalton, who headed the committee responsible for raising funds for the Memorial.
The foundation stone was laid in October 1966, 300 years after the Great Fire of London, and by May 1967, the last stone was in place. However, the project was far from complete. A meticulous re-creation of the church's interior required another two years of work. English woodcarvers, working from pre-war photographs, created carvings for the pulpit, baptismal font, and balcony. Blenko Glass, an American firm, manufactured the glass for the windows and a Dutch firm cast five new bronze bells for the tower. Noel Mander, the fire warden who watched St. Mary's burn in 1940, built the organ and helped assure authenticity of the interior details. There are only two departures from the Wren design: an organ gallery in the west wall and a window in the tower to illuminate the stairway.
After nearly five years of work on what The Times called "perhaps the biggest jigsaw puzzle in the history of architecture," dedication ceremonies for St. Mary's and the Winston Churchill Memorial were held on May 7, 1969. During the course of the ceremonies, the Rev. Anthony Tremlett, the Bishop of Dover, England, re-hallowed St. Mary's as a place of worship. In 1992, the Eagle Squadron Association named St. Mary's as its official chapel. Since that time, St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury has continued to serve as a focus of religious life and history.
Renovated in 2006, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the "Sinews of Peace," the Churchill museum strives to bring Churchill to life for new generations born years after Churchill's death. The exhibition immerses visitors in a unique three-dimensional, media-rich, and highly interactive experience designed to engage visitors’ senses of sight, sound, and touch.
The objective of the museum is quite simple: to tell the story of Churchill's life, giving due proportion both to his successes and his failures, and to let visitors make their own determinations about the man and his place in history.
This narrative is presented in the form of a "walkthrough" experience, organized chronologically. The exhibition begins with Churchill's birth and proceeds through the major events of his life, alongside an examination of the critical events of the 20th century. The exhibit relates the story of Churchill's entire life—not only his experiences in World War II—examining his pursuits as a politician, soldier, journalist, family man, and painter.
Some of the highlights of this exhibition include the "Admiralty, Army & Arsenal: 1914-1919" room. This portion of the exhibit is housed within a recreation of a World War I trench—complete with barbed wire, sandbags, and spent ammunition—that gives visitors a sense of a British soldier's experience on the Western Front. A periscope mounted on the trench wall gives visitors a glimpse of a real World War I battlescape from period footage. An accompanying ambient audio track plays the sound of soldiers’ conversations interspersed with distant gunfire and shell bursts. The World War I room also examines Churchill's role in the disasters of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli and his contributions to the technology of warfare.
Another highlight of the exhibition is "The Gathering Storm: 1929-1939" room which discusses Churchill's suspicion of Hitler and the Nazi movement. In this room, five video monitors play excerpts from Nazi propaganda films interspersed with images of the impending war, demonstrating how Nazi rhetoric differed from policy. Against this backdrop, the exhibit examines Churchill's view of the Nazis and his disgust for Britain's pre-war appeasement politics.
The most impressive room in the exhibition is "Churchill's Finest Hour: World War II, 1939-1945." This room examines World War II and Churchill's pivotal role in that conflict. Here, visitors made to feel as if they have been caught in the middle of the Blitz as a sound and light show replicates an air-raid on London. Simulated rubble surrounds the room and the room reverberates with the sounds of bombs detonating and air raid sirens sounding. Flashes of anti-aircraft fire and the prodding beams of searchlights illuminate the exhibit. Segments of war-time broadcasts add to the atmosphere. After the conclusion of the Blitz demonstration, a short film (narrated by Walter Cronkite) examines Churchill's role as prime minister during the dark days of the war. Around the walls of his room, more interactive displays demonstrate the war-time skills of code breaking and plane spotting.
Other museum highlights include "The Sinews of Peace" room and the "Winston's Wit & Wisdom" room. "The Sinews of Peace" tells the story of how and why Churchill came to visit Westminster College. Featured in this exhibit are the lectern and chair used by Churchill during his speech and the ceremonial robes he wore. In "Winston's Wit & Wisdom" visitors sit in a simulated British club while listening to an audio presentation of Churchill stories. Visitors to this room may also search through a database of Churchill's most famous quotations and quips on a host of topics.
The "Life of Leadership Gallery" is an extremely thorough and objective examination of Churchill's life and times.
In 1990, with the support of Westminster College, Sandys and her husband, Richard Kaplan, had traveled to East Berlin to secure portions of the wall. Upon their arrival in Berlin, however, the couple realized the sculpture would be costly, as 4-foot (1.2 m)-wide sections were selling for $60,000 to $200,000. Fortunately, East German officials, intrigued by the idea of a erecting a Berlin Wall monument at the location of Churchill's 1946 speech, allowed Sandys to choose eight sections of the wall as a gift to Westminster College.
Sandys chose the sections from an area near the Brandenburg Gate, frequented by artists, because of the dramatic color of the graffiti. The repeated use of the word "unwahr" ("lies" or "untruths") within the sections also appealed to her. Sandys modified the original sections by cutting out large male and female silhouettes from the wall—these cuts outs exemplified the newly-opened communication between East and West. When assembled, "Breakthrough" proved to be an enormous sculpture, roughly 11 ft (3.4 m) high by 32 ft (9.8 m) ft long.
One year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Sandys unveiled "Breakthrough" before a crowd of 7,000 people gathered on the campus of Westminster College. Among the gathered crowd were former President Ronald Reagan, Senator John Ashcroft, and German Minister Plenipotentiary Fritjof von Nordenskjoeld. The dedication of "Breakthrough" brought the Churchill Memorial full-circle. Forty-four years after her grandfather had warned of the creation of the "iron curtain," Edwina Sandys’ sculpture commemorated the close of the Cold War.
Winston Churchill was only one of many world leaders to visit Westminster College. Since 1937, the College has played host to two different lecture series: The John Findley Green Lectures and The Crosby Kemper Lectures. Both lectures have brought world-famous politicians, businessmen, and academicians to Westminster College, among whom Churchill was arguably the most famous lecturer and the most memorable.
The Crosby Kemper Lecture Series was established in 1979 by a grant from the Crosby Kemper Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri. This foundation provides for lectures by authorities on British History and Sir Winston Churchill at the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library.
Other world leaders who have followed in Churchill's footsteps and journeyed to Westminster College include: US Presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and George H. W. Bush; British Prime Ministers Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, and Sir John Major; Polish President Lech Wałęsa; and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.