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Speeches about Winston Churchill

The 39th John Findley Green Foundation Lecture

by The Honorable Caspar W. Weinberger
Finest Hour 40, Summer 1983

It is realty a great thrill and rather intimidating assignment to stand on this roster, which as it has been said, is such a famous one. I thought today I would like to talk to you a little about vision and leadership.

When Winston Churchill turned 80 on November 30, 1954, both Houses of Parliament assembled in Westminster Hall to pay him tribute. He replied by returning that tribute to the British people. It was they, he said: "Who had the lion's heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar."

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Feature Articles - Finest Hour 112

From September 11th his words were on every lip. Dr. Stephen Bungay explains how Churchill crafted the speeches that still inspire us today.

Dr. Bungay, a member of ICS (UK), is the author of The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain (Aurum Press: 2000), an account of the events of summer 1940, and of the role Churchill played in them. In the present article, he is indebted to Garry Wills, whose brilliant Lincoln at Gettysburg (Simon & Schuster) shows how Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has a structure going back to Pericles and also forms a tightly interlocked linguistic network. The author has followed the visual display technique used by Wills on his pages 172-5. Dr. Bungay writes: "It was Wills's book which first gave me the idea of looking at Churchill's speeches in a similar way. Both Lincoln and Churchill were rooted in the same long western tradition of political  rhetoric, and the words spoken by both men at times of crisis have had a profound and lasting impact on their respective nations."

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Winston Churchill
of the International Churchill Societies 1994-95

William F. Buckley, Jr.
Boston, 27 October 1995

WHEN I was a boy I came upon the line, "Let us now praise famous men." In succeeding decades I found myself running its implications through my mind. The evolution of my thinking is of possible interest to you under the auspices of this celebration.

Early on I found myself wondering why exactly it was thought appropriate, let alone necessary, to praise famous men. If such men as were to be praised were already famous, as the biblical injunction presupposes, then would they not disdain as either redundant, or immodest, the solicitation of more praise than they had already? It seemed, in that perspective, just a little infra dig to enjoin such praise.

Sometime later I bumped into the melancholy conclusion of the historian who wrote that "great men are not often good men." That finding curdled in the memory. Does it require of a famous man to be praised, that he be praiseworthy? And if he is not a good man, merely a successful man who became famous by inventing the wheel or invading Russia or writing War and Peace, should not the praise be confined to bringing to the attention of those who are behind in the matter that which the person being praised actually did that merits more vociferous admiration? Or is that obvious? Jack the Ripper was famous, but our praise of him, if such it is to be called, does not focus on his attainments.

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Two Great Men, Two Great Themes

Lord Jenkins and Winston Churchill: The Study of History and the Practice of Politics

An Address to the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto, November 2002

By John Plumpton, President, The Churchill Center, Washington, DC

I am honoured to speak to you in a venue that hosted Winston Churchill at a luncheon on August 17, 1929. Including those listening on loud speakers on the street outside of the Royal York, 3,000 heard him.

Churchill was actually reasonably modest about what drew people to hear him. On one occasion, when he was complimented on the large turnout, he responded: "Yes, but imagine how many would have come if you had announced you were hanging me."

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On his State visit in May 2011, President Barack Obama gets a standing ovation from MPs and peers after finishing his speech in Westminster Palace with a quote from Winston Churchill.

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