President of Chile Savours a Touch of Churchill Magic
Sebastian Piñera visits Cabinet War Rooms ahead of appointments today with David Cameron and the Queen
By Martin Hickman
THE INDEPENDENT, Monday, 18 October 2010 - Basking in the glory of the miners' rescue, Chile's President, Sebastian Piñera, started a state visit to Britain yesterday with a tour of Sir Winston Churchill's underground, Second World War headquarters.
In the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall, London, where the prime minister orchestrated the war effort and rallied the public during the Blitz, Mr Piñera refrained from uttering the words "blood, toil, tears and sweat" from his boyhood hero's 1940 speech, which he had kept at his side during the miners' ordeal.
Instead, he sat in Churchill's wooden chair and pulled from a suit pocket a small hessian sack containing a lump of rock taken from the San Jose mine, from which 33 miners were freed last week after 69 days below ground. He also offered as a gift to the War Rooms' director, Phil Reed, a facsimile of the first, red-lettered note from Los 33 saying "Estamos Bien en el refugio, los 33" ("We are doing well in our refuge, the 33.")
Overseen by Mr Piñera in a 22-hour operation, at the end of which he hugged every miner as they emerged from the emergency chute bored 622 metres under the Atacama desert, the extraordinary rescue has lifted his poll ratings and Chile's international standing, providing the ideal springboard for his long-planned tour of Europe
A billionaire businessman, the Harvard-educated economist is hoping that his visit will underline Chile's transition from an insular dictatorship to a democratic economic power - and attract inward investment. He is also hoping to banish any lingering memories of Augusto Pinochet, the last Chilean head of state to make headlines in the UK during his arrest 12 years ago for murdering civilians during the 1970s.
27th International Churchill Conference Chairs Hold Newsreel Meeting at USC
Columbia, South Carolina, Monday, September 20, 2010
Craig Horn, North Carolina Churchillians, Ken Childs, Bernard Baruch Chapter (South Carolina), co-chairmen of the 27th International Churchill Conference, March 24-26, 2011, in Charleston, SC, and Judy Kambestad, Churchillians of Southern California, and Conference Manager, met with Greg Wilsbacher, Curator, Newsfilm Collections, Moving Image Research Collection (MIRC), and staff at the University of South Carolina to preview the first pass at editing newsreels. Judy Kambestad had edited nine hours of film, most of it ‘historic' or unedited and unseen outtakes, down to two hours. Footage includes Churchill speaking on India in 1931. 1942 includes a speech to workers with Clementine and Mary Churchill in Yorkshire; arriving home by plane from Russia and the Far East; later trip in Moscow; and in Dover with General Smuts. 1943 includes Casablanca; partial speech to U.S. Congress; North Africa; Canada; Mary Churchill (The Lady Soames, LG, DBE) at Ft Oglethorpe, Georgia, USA visiting WACs base; Honorary Degree at Harvard; Tehran; watching paratroopers; and Mary Churchill, Second Subaltern, British Auxiliary Territorial Service, christening a US bomber with Coca Cola. In 1944 Churchill, Clementine and Mary watch a ‘buzz' bomb demonstration. Portions of the one-hour silent outtakes of unseen D-Day Normandy landings by the Canadian and British armed forces will be used at the end of the DVD.
It was decided at this meeting to edit the film to 45 minutes for the gift DVD for conference registrants, and a 30-minute DVD for classroom use. Select footage of all the newsreels will be shown during the conference, including both silent and Movietone Newsreels as shown in theaters made from the silent footage. This historic footage is drawn from USC's Fox Movietone News Collection, which includes rarely or never before seen materials from newsreel and armed forces cameramen. The gift DVD, done in Ken Burns' style with narration, subtitles, and music, will never be sold. There will be a conference edition only for registrants. USC/MIRC maintains the copyrights and is partnering with the Churchill Centre to produce this DVD.
Mitchell Reiss, the former director of the Reves Center for International Studies and dean for international affairs at the College of William & Mary, was inaugurated on Oct. 2nd, as the 27th president of Washington College, the first college chartered in the new nation. It was under the patronage of George Washington.
This event by itself has generated considerable public interest. In addition, however, Reiss' new book "Negotiating with Evil: When to Talk to Terrorists," a path-breaking analysis of controversial negotiations, has just hit the nation's bookstores.
"Negotiating with Evil," was first published as an original E-book by Open Road Integrated Media. According to a press release, Reiss said that he chose to publish with Open Road, because "Digital publishing is the way of the future....The book gets out very quickly, it's far less expensive than a traditional book, and it's a great way to reach a global audience."
The book is seen as a primer for decision makers in Washington. Presenting them with a historical record of how and why various governments around the world negotiated with "evil."
"Because it has largely occurred in the shadows, few protocols and little analysis of prior practice exist to help guide thought or action. Thus, each administration has to perform the policy equivalent of reinventing the wheel," Reiss said in an interview with the Gazette.
He is quoted saying, "Over the past three years, I've traveled around the world interviewing prime ministers, generals, intelligence officers and former terrorists. My goal has been to explore why governments have decided to talk to terrorist groups, understand the mistakes they've made and reveal the victories they've achieved."
Behind the Scenes at the Churchill War Rooms (Video)
Phil Reed, of the Churchill Centre and Museum at the Churchill War Rooms, gives a behind-the-scenes tour and brief history of the War Rooms.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 August 2010 15:48
The Churchill Centre Conferences - RESCHEDULED
The 27th International Conference of the Churchill Centre, originally scheduled for October 28-29, 2010, in Washington has been rescheduled for early 2011 according to Laurence Geller, Chairman of the Centre.
"The American people will take to the polls to participate in a highly meaningful election on November 2nd, a scant four days after our scheduled conference," said Mr. Geller. "In a poll of our invited and potential speakers, it was their considered opinion that if we were to proceed with the conference this October, the timing of the elections could have a detrimental impact on the success of the event. Therefore, the prudent course is to postpone this event until Spring 2011."
Thus, in 2011 the Centre will hold the 27th International Churchill Conference on March 25-26, in Charleston, South Carolina. Speakers already confirmed for this program include Churchill's granddaughter, Celia Sandys; Lynne Olsen, author of Citizens of London and Troublesome Young Men; Paul Reid, author of Defender of the Realm, the last of the William Manchester 3-volume history of Winston Churchill; and Warren Kimball, editor of Churchill and Roosevelt, the Complete Correspondence. The theme of the conference will be "Churchill in the News," and will feature never-before-seen Churchill archive footage from the Movietone News collection at the University of South Carolina.
Later in the Spring of 2011, the Churchill Centre will hold its first Global Leadership Summit on "Fostering Collaboration and Understanding: Security and Democracy in the 21st Century" at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC. This summit will feature an impressive array of political, business and academic leaders who will examine the security needs of 21st Century society through Churchillian eyes.
Finally, in the Fall of 2011, the Churchill Centre/United Kingdom will organize an International Churchill Conference at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London. Details are still being discussed; an announcement of dates, speakers and themes will be made later.
These program changes are part of a new strategic direction of the Centre to offer more opportunities for Churchill study at local conferences within the U.S., U.K., and Canada, as well as to extend the organization's reach to younger generations through programs, publications and internet activities focused on current and topical issues.