It is Commencement time across colleges and universities, and some speakers will be quoting Churchill on success in life. In the hope that they will quote him accurately, here is a small selection. At the bottom are two no-nos: things he never said, but is always credited as saying.
University of Miami, 26 February 1946:
I am surprised that in my later life I should have become so experienced in taking degrees, when, as a school-boy I was so bad at passing examinations. In fact one might almost say that no one ever passed so few examinations and received so many degrees.…
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.
Troy Bramston of The Australian newspaper had pertinent questions about the new movie Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. With the thought that Troy’s queries might be of interest, I append the text of the interview.
The Australian : Of all the things Winston Churchill is purported to have said and done, the myths and misconceptions, which are the most prevalent and frustrating for scholars? None of these appear in the film, but there are three things that rankle: 1) The lies—that he was anxious to use poison gas; that he firebombed Dresden in revenge for Coventry; that he exacerbated the Bengal famine, etc.…