Year: 2018

When Presidents and Prime Ministers Would Walk Among Us

When Presidents and Prime Ministers Would Walk Among Us

There was a time, in a long-ago and inno­cent age, when nation­al lead­ers would walk about unac­com­pa­nied by secu­ri­ty. Some­times, they would even walk alone.

Four such episodes came to mind last week which exem­pli­fy this van­ished era. Ques­tions arrived from col­leagues about Churchill: his encoun­ters with Cana­di­an sol­diers and his North Car­oli­na con­nec­tions. Then The New York Times pub­lished a ret­ro­spec­tive on Woodrow Wil­son, dur­ing the 1918 Paris Peace Con­fer­ence. This was remind­ful of a fourth episode, involv­ing Har­ry Tru­man. The sad­ness is that none of these could have hap­pened in, the last fifty years. Maybe longer.…

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Churchill had how many ideas a day? How many were good?

Churchill had how many ideas a day? How many were good?

Q: “Who made the crack that Churchill had a hun­dred ideas a day but only four of them were good?” —Bruce Sax­ton, Tren­ton, N.J.

A: There are sev­er­al can­di­dates and vari­a­tions. Tak­ing them as a group, Churchill had from six to 100 ideas dai­ly, of which between one and six were good. In order of the most like­ly. But it could be one of those all-pur­pose cracks applied to many peo­ple.

Roosevelt: fifty to 100 ideas, three or four good.

Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt is the most like­ly to have said this, since he’s quot­ed more than any­one else.…

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Churchill, Canada and the Perspective of History (Part 3)

Churchill, Canada and the Perspective of History (Part 3)

Per­spec­tive of His­to­ry: Address to the Churchill Soci­ety of Ottawa, Ontario, Cana­da, on Sir Winston’s 144th birth­day, 30 Novem­ber 2018 (Part 3). We were kind­ly host­ed at Earn­scliffe by the British High Com­mis­sion­er, Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque.

Perspective, 144 Years On

Con­clud­ed from Part 2…. “The great move­ments that under­lie history—the devel­op­ment of sci­ence, indus­try, cul­ture, social and polit­i­cal structures—are pow­er­ful, almost deter­mi­nant,” wrote Charles Krautham­mer.

Yet every once in a while, a sin­gle per­son aris­es with­out whom every­thing would be dif­fer­ent. In recent times, only Churchill car­ries that absolute­ly required cri­te­ri­on: indis­pens­abil­i­ty… Take away Churchill in 1940 [and] Hitler would have achieved what no oth­er tyrant, not even Napoleon, had ever achieved: mas­tery of Europe.…

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