Churchill and the Great Republic

U.S. Army Signal Corps. Conference of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Marshal Josef Stalin and Prime Minister Winston Churchill . . . , 1943. Photographic print. Office of War Information Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (206)

On April 17, 1945, British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill addressed the House of Commons on the occasion of President Franklin Roosevelt's death. He said of his friend and ally: “In war he had raised the strength, might and glory of the great Republic to a height never attained by any nation in history.”

The exhibition was on view through July 10, 2004.

Library of Congress exhibitions are on view from Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. No reservations are needed.

This exhibition examines the life and career of Winston Spencer Churchill and emphasizes his lifelong links with the United States—the nation he called “the great Republic.” The exhibition comes nearly forty years after the death of Winston Churchill and sixty years after the D-Day allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France during World War II. It commemorates both of these events.

Churchill and the Great Republic draws on the unparalleled collection of Churchill materials in the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, England. This is the first time that these materials are exhibited comprehensively in the United States. The exhibition also showcases the remarkable holdings on Churchill and his life in the Library of Congress. A number of items, drawn from the rich, multi-format collections of the Library, are newly uncovered and have never been displayed previously.

Comprised of six major sections, the exhibition covers Churchill's life and achievements from his birth on November 30, 1874, in Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, to his death on January 24, 1965, in London. Three of the sections deal with the World War II era, reflecting the enormous role Churchill played in shaping the events of that critical period in world history.

The exhibition includes letters, documents, photographs, prints, books, maps, newspaper clippings, and three-dimensional artifacts. Throughout, the installation features Churchill's words and ideas, written and spoken. There are audio stations of speeches by Churchill, original drafts of important addresses, and numerous quotations by him and others made about him. The exhibition opens with a film compilation showing politicians, presidents and other world leaders, as well as entertainers quoting, paraphrasing, or imitating Churchill. Churchill and the Great Republic closes with a selection of clips from the few Churchill speeches recorded on film and with the words of President John F. Kennedy spoken in tribute when granting Churchill honorary U.S. citizenship.

“By adding his name to our rolls, we mean to honor his—but his acceptance honors us far more. For no statement or proclamation can enrich his name now—the name Sir Winston Churchill is already legend.”

This exhibition was organized by the Library of Congress in cooperation with the Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, U.K. (external link)

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