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1941 - 1945: War Leader

February 9, 1941.  Broadcast, London.

When Mr. Wendell Willkie visited Britainat the end of January he carried a letter of introduction from President Roosevelt containing several celebrated lines from Longfellow, which moved Churchill greatlv, and which he quoted at the end of this broadcast.

Five months have passed since I spoke to the British nation and the Empire on the broadcast. In wartime there is a lot to be said for the motto: "Deeds, not words." All the same, it is a good thing to look around from time to time and take stock, and certainly our affairs have prospered in several directions during these last four or five months, far better than most of us would have ventured to hope.

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February 9, 1941. Broadcast, London.

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April 27, 1941. Broadcast, London.

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June 12, 1941. London. 

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June 16, 1941.

A radio speech broadcast from London to America on receiving the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws of the University of Rochester, Churchill's first honorary degree from an American university.

 

I am grateful, President Valentine, for the honour which you have conferred upon me in making me a Doctor of Laws of the University of Rochester in the State of New York. I am extremely complimented by the expressions of praise and commendation in which you have addressed me, not because I am or ever can be worthy of them, but because they are an expression of American confidence and affection which I shall ever strive to deserve.

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June 16, 1941. London.

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June 22, 1941.

Germany's Invasion of Russia

I have taken occasion to speak to you to-night because we have reached one of the climacterics of the war. The first of these intense turning-points was a year ago when France fell prostrate under the German hammer, and when we had to face the storm alone. The second was when the Royal Air Force beat the Hun raiders out of the daylight air, and thus warded off the Nazi invasion of our island while we were still ill-armed and ill-prepared. The third turning-point was when the President and Congress of the United States passed the Lease-and-Lend enactment, devoting nearly 2,000 millions sterling of the wealth of the New World to help us to defend our liberties and their own. Those were the three climacterics.

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June 22, 1941. London.

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A tonic for today by Winston S. Churchill

July 14, 1941.

Feature Articles - Finest Hour 112

In reproducing Churchill's mighty tribute to the rescuers of London, we have done something we have never done to one of his speeches: edited it slightly to eliminate contemporary references. In this evergreen form it serves as commentary on a day that will live in infamy, 11 September 2001. The original can be found in Churchill¹s The Unrelenting Struggle (English edition 187; American edition 182) or in the Complete Speeches VI:6448.

The impressive and inspiring spectacle we have witnessed displays the vigour and efficiency of the civil defence forces. They have grown up in the stress of emergency. They have been shaped and tempered by the fire of the enemy, and we saw them all, in their many grades and classe - the wardens, the rescue and first-aid parties, the casualty services, the decontamination squads, the fire services, the report and control centre staffs, the highways and public utility services, the messengers, the police. No one could but feel how great a people, how great a nation we have the honour to belong to. How complex, sensitive, and resilient is the society we have evolved over the centuries, and how capable of withstanding the most unexpected strain.             

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July 14, 1941.

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