New exhibit opens this month in Ontario with items on loan from The Churchill Archives Centre.
On 30 December 1941 while visiting Canada, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stood up to speak to Senators, Members of Parliament and guests in the House of Commons chamber. His words were carried around the world, by radio and film cameras, affording rare images of Churchill delivering one of his great wartime speeches.
In this speech, delivered in both French and English, Churchill used the occasion to recall how, in the summer of 1940, the French generals claimed that “in three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken,” before pausing and then remarking, “Some chicken! Some neck!” These lines captured and defined Churchill’s war leadership for both contemporaries and posterity.
On that same day, Yousuf Karsh snapped the now famous scowling photograph of Churchill in the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons.
The 70th anniversary of the event – 30 December 1941 – was acknowledged in the House of Commons by Speaker Andrew Scheer.
Together with partners from the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, the University of Cambridge and supporters including The Globe and Mail and the Woodbridge Company Limited, The International Churchill Society of Canada and the International Churchill Centre, the Library is developing a special exhibit which will display:
- Original speech notes – in English and French – from a segment of the address
- Audio and video clips of Churchill’s address
- A signed copy of Yousuf Karsh’s iconic photograph of Churchill
- A take-away of the speech text
This is the first time that the original speech notes have been available on loan for viewing outside of Britain. New environment-controlled cases will be installed in the Library to offer the necessary conditions for the display of the speech.
The exhibit entitled Churchill: From Canada to the World will be launched on Monday, 26 March 2012 and run until the end of June 2012.
Visitors to the Parliament of Canada will have the opportunity to view the exhibit when the guided tour stops in the Library of Parliament. There will also be a special guided tour of the exhibit only at 2:30 PM each day, subject to availability.