Tag: Washington

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’s Washington Humor, Part 1

Churchill’s Washington Humor, Part 1

A friend who is deliv­er­ing a Churchill speech in D.C. asked for some exam­ples of Churchil­ian humor involv­ing Wash­ing­ton and U.S. Pres­i­dents.

Every­one enjoys Churchill’s famous crack in his first (1941) speech to Con­gress:

“If my father had been Amer­i­can, and my moth­er British, instead of the oth­er way round, I might have got here on my own!” That brought down the house.

When in the U.S., Churchill liked to empha­size his Amer­i­can roots. Broad­cast­ing to Amer­i­ca six months ear­li­er, he avowed some­thing he always believed:

 The great Burke has tru­ly said, “Peo­ple will not look for­ward to pos­ter­i­ty who nev­er look back­ward to their ances­tors,” and I feel it most agree­able to recall to you that the Jeromes were root­ed for many gen­er­a­tions in Amer­i­can soil, and fought in Washington’s armies for the inde­pen­dence of the Amer­i­can Colonies and the foun­da­tion of the Unit­ed States.…

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