National Churchill Library and Center

Universal Appeal: Churchill’s Essay about Extraterrestrial Life THE FULTON REPORT - From the National Churchill Museum

Finest Hour 176, Spring 2017

Page 40


An eleven-page essay by Winston Churchill entitled “Are We Alone in the Universe?” in the archives of the National Churchill Museum has developed into an international news story that revealed Churchill was clearly open to the possibility of extra-terrestrial life on other planets.

Churchill drafted his first version of the essay in 1939 and then revised the text slightly in the 1950s. The manuscript of the revised version was among four boxes of materials that were donated to the museum some thirty years ago by Wendy Reves, widow of Churchill literary agent Emery Reves. There it sat unnoticed until its rediscovery last year.

Seeking insights about the validity or the accuracy of Churchill’s astronomical perspective, Timothy Riley, Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator of the National Churchill Museum, provided the essay to Westminster science faculty as well as renowned astrophysicist Mario Livio, during his Hancock Symposium lecture at Westminster College last fall.

Excitement grew when Livio and the Westminster science faculty expressed great amazement over Churchill’s faith in science and his belief in potential alien life on other planets. Riley gave support to Livio, who wrote an extensive article about the essay for the 16 February 2017 issue of Nature, the prestigious science journal.

The article touched off an avalanche of news stories in the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, The Huffington Post, U.S. News and World Report, The Guardian, the South China Morning Post, the Times of Israel, El Universio, and El Diario and was carried by the newsagencies Reuters, Agence France-Press (AFP), AFP Japan, and Xinhua, the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China. And the story continued to grow.

Newsweek, Smithsonian, the Christian Science Monitor, The Independent, The Times of London, and hundreds of other publications began using the news story, followed by regional, national, and international broadcast outlets from NBC and Fox News to NPR and the BBC, as well as Yahoo and dozens of major online news portals worldwide. Read More >

Timothy Snyder at the NCLC

Author of On Tyranny gives a talk in Washington, D.C.

Professor Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, gave a talk at the National Churchill Library and Center about his book in which he reflects on how many democracies failed throughout Europe during the 20th century and how these specific cases can be used as lessons for maintaining democracy today. Watch the entire talk at C-SPAN.

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LETTERS – Finest Hour 174

Finest Hour 175, Winter 2017 Page 05 Email: info@winstonchurchill.org Tweet: @ChurchillCentre Getting the Bearings HAMPSHIRE—The description of the armorial bearings of the Royal College of Defence Studies on page 21 [image on page 18] is unspecific about which elements represent the branches of the armed forces. Could you please elucidate? —Paul H. Courtenay Dr. Stewart […]

Your Help is Needed with the National Churchill Library and Center

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….”

DONATE NOW

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.

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WinstonChurchill.org

The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.