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Churchill Centre News

6 October 2016

The Churchill's Centre's Executive Director weighs on thoughts about the 2016 election in the United States


Published in The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 6, 2016
Winston ChurchillSearch the internet for “ Winston Churchill and democracy” and you’ll find a quote attributed to Britain’s great World War II leader: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

While that comment—which is actually apocryphal—may resonate among some voters in this highly unusual election year in the U.S., Churchill’s faith in constitutional democracy would never have accommodated such a dystopian view. His equally famous comment (though not original to him)—“Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms”—is closer to his real sentiments.

Churchill’s daughter Mary Soames, who died in 2014 after a long life as guardian of her father’s legacy, was skeptical of attempts to invoke his name. “How would you know?” was her retort to “What Winston Would Think.” Even so, it’s tempting to consider what he would make of American politics in 2016.

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6 July 2016

Announcing the Completion of Phase I of the National Churchill Library and Center in Washington, DC

Churchill Friends: Over three decades ago, a small group of Churchill Centre members set forth an ambitious dream:

The creation of a new headquarters in Washington, DC to provide a substantial permanent home for Churchill studies in the heart of our nation’s capital.

Despite the passage of years, the dream did not die - but the financial, practical and organizational challenges were formidable and made it seemingly beyond our reach. Yet we knew that to fulfil our mission to, in the words of Churchill’s daughter Lady Soames, “keep the memory green” and also ensure the continuing relevance of his legacy, we simply had no choice but to “never, never, never, never give in….”


Thus, it gives us great satisfaction to tell you that we have recently completed Phase I of the Capital Campaign for the new National Churchill Library and Center at George Washington University (the NCLC.) It is with enormous pleasure to announce the  buildout of its permanent home in the University’s Gelman Library will be completed this summer with a grand opening to coincide with the 33rd International Churchill Conference in Washington, DC October 27-29.

This new facility includes all the elements we have longed for so many years:

  • A major collection of books and other material by and about Churchill.
  • Free digital access to the Churchill Archives at Churchill College Cambridge, an essential tool for the study of Churchill’s life. • A custom-designed reading room and library to accommodate students, teachers and scholars from Washington, all of America and around the world.
  • The beginnings of an important research collection, highlighted by Churchill’s Second World War Engagement Diary Cards, the only contemporaneous record of his day-to-day activity from 1939 to 1945. This complete collection has never before been available to the public or scholars and the originals will be supplemented by hi-res digital scans posted online. • State of the art exhibit space for temporary and permanent displays highlighting Churchill’s life and the continuing relevance of his legacy.
  • A 15-foot wide touch screen media wall for interactive exhibits, presentations and other hi-tech applications.
  • Office space for the permanent Director of the NCLC and Executive Director of The Churchill Centre and for visiting scholars and researchers. An international search for the right candidate to fill this important position is underway.
  • Above all, a location in the heart of our nation’s capital a block from a Metro station, walking distance to the State Department, and easily accessible to students and teachers from around the country, to professionals in the diplomatic and policy communities and elected and appointed government officials.

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13 March 2016

Establishment of the Churchill Society of Tennessee

csoc-tcc-197Growing out of a group of admirers of Sir Winston Churchill in Franklin, Tennessee and its environs, the Churchill Society of Tennessee has been established as a Chapter affiliate of the Churchill Centre, an International Churchill Society of several thousand members.

This is a group of 'aficionados' (Free Dictionary definition: A person who likes, knows about, and appreciates and usually fervently pursues an interest or activity.) who can come together periodically to enjoy convivial conversation and gain a greater appreciation for THE MAN of the 20th Century, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill.

This is not a 'fan' club nor a group that fails to acknowledge that THE MAN, at times, had clay feet. Rather it is folks who would endorse what his now deceased daughter Lady Mary Soames's has said: 'To keep the memory green and the record accurate', also a motto of The Churchill Centre.

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21 February 2016

Celia and John Lee's book is being published in Russian

THE-CHURCHILLSWinston Churchill is arguably the most famous Briton, but a shroud of mystery still surrounds him and his family. Myths propagated by Winston's political enemies persist to this day, yet the truth is just as compelling. Celia and John Lee use never-before-seen archives to cut through the rumors and lies and get to the truth about the life of the prime minister and his relationship with his family.

Chock-full of intrigue and scandal, The Churchills finally sets the record straight regarding one of the world's greatest dynasties.

Уинстон Черчилль – это, пожалуй, величайший британец, но и он, и его семья все еще окутаны покровом тайны. Вымыслы, которые распространяли политические враги Уинстона, живы и по сей день, однако, правда привлекает к себе не меньшее внимание. Силия и Джон Ли, с помощью ранее неизвестных архивных материалов, пробились через паутину слухов и кривотолков, поведав правду о жизни бывшего премьер-министра и его отношений со своей семьей.

Эта книга о Черчиллях, до отказа наполненная интригами и скандальными историями, раз и навсегда расставляет все на свои места в отношении одной из величайших в мире семейных династий.

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1 February 2016

Long time friend of The Churchill Centre Sir Martin Gilbert passed away in February 2015.

Sir Martin Gilbert was Winston S Churchill's official biographer after having taken over from Churchill's son Randolph. He began work with Randolph in 1963 while still a student at Oxford University. They finished the first two of what was to be eight volumes together before Randolph died three years after his father in 1968. 

Six hundred people attended Sir Martin's memorial service which was held at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London on 24 November 2015.

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11 December 2015

Winston Churchill National Leadership Award

Winston S ChurchillOn December 1st 2015, in Freedom Foyer at The U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, House Speaker Paul Ryan presented Senator Joe Lieberman with the Winston Churchill National Leadership Award. 

The following are the remarks and messages from the award ceremony. 


Mr. Speaker, I thank you and The Churchill Centre for this award and for the generosity of spirit and word with which you have presented it. Congratulations on becoming Speaker. As you take on your new, challenging responsibilities, may I respectfully offer you this advice often attributed to Winston Churchill, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

To know how much receiving this award means to me, you would have to be me.

Since I started reading history and biography a long time ago, Winston Churchill has been a hero of mine. His words and deeds helped inspire my interest in public service and taught me what true leadership is. And his words also often made me laugh.  Churchill once famously said he was confident history would treat him well because he intended to write it.  History has treated him very well and not just because of what he wrote.

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1 December 2015
Churchill celebrates his 80th birthday on the occasion of the State Opening of Parliament in 1954. 

13 November 2015

Watch Highlights from the 21st Century Global Leaders Programme

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27 October 2015

Donation from philanthropist makes Sir Winston Churchill Archive free for schools worldwide 


The acclaimed Churchill Archive, published by Bloomsbury, is now free for the first time for schools worldwide thanks to the generous donation of $1 million made by US-based, British businessman and philanthropist Laurence Geller CBE.

Laurence Geller is a long time financial supporter of the Churchill Centre, and has served as its Chairman since January 2007. Mr. Geller, who is also leading the funding and development of the United States National Churchill Library and Centre  in Washington DC, due to open in 2016, said of his donation:  

"We live in an increasingly fast changing, fragile and volatile world and, as such, the timeless lessons to be learned from the long and varied life of Sir Winston Churchill have never been more needed or relevant than today. As the dramatic events of the first half of the twentieth century fade from everyday memory, we cannot risk Churchill and his lessons becoming a mere footnote in history.  

We must enable generations of schoolchildren to have tailored learning programs about this great leader, whose career influenced so many facets of both British Society and the democracies of the civilized world. As these schoolchildren's careers blossom and flourish the Churchill lessons they have learned will in turn influence them to better their own societies. I am truly both humbled and privileged to provide the financial support that makes the archives and the learning modules globally available at no cost to schools and students." 

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14 October 2015

Commemorating Churchill 2015

In May 2015, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust UK (WCMT) held an Open Day for fellows of the Trust. Over 1,300 Churchill Fellows and their guests came together to mark the 50th anniversary at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston.

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