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Living History - The National Churchill Museum

Tim Riley Addresses the Club about the National Churchill Museum

The Rotary Club of Fulton was joined today by Tim Riley, Director and Curator of the National Churchill Museum. Riley is new to the position and the Fulton community, migrating here from La Crosse, Wisconsin, but he brings extensive curation experience with him. A former Rotarian, Tim expressed hopes that his schedule would eventually allow him to join the Club.

Tim Offered an overview of the museum and an upcoming lecture by Rt Hon Lord Alan Watson, High Steward, Cambridge University, on October 13 at 6:00 p.m.

About the National Churchill Museum*

In 1946 it was at Westminster College that Winston Churchill delivered one of the most significant speeches of his long and illustrious career. That address, formally entitled, The Sinews of Peace, but best known for that evocative phrase, "An Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent", effectively marked the beginning of the Cold War and linked, forever, Fulton and Westminster College with Winston Churchill.

National Churchill Museum

In the 1960s Westminster College set out to mark what would be the 20th anniversary of Churchill's visit. After due consideration to traditional modes of commemoration, Westminster College settled on the rather more ambitious notion of moving a Christopher Wren designed Church from London. This Church, St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, had stood in London since 1677 when it replaced an earlier structure that had sat on the same site since the 12th century. This magnificent building, badly damaged during the London Blitz, was moved stone by stone to Westminster's campus and rebuilt to Wren's original specifications.

Beneath this Church is the National Churchill Museum itself which, through the imaginative and innovative use of technology, brings to life the story of Winston Churchill and the world he knew. Recently rebuilt from the ground up, the new displays and the permanent exhibition, together with a host of associated historical and cultural activities that support it, was recognized by the United States Congress as America's permanent tribute to this great man and formally designated as America's National Churchill Museum.

Sinews of Peace- 1946*

"Of all the talents bestowed upon men, non is so precious as the gift of orator. ...He is an independent force in the world. ...whoever can command this power is still formidable." - Winston Churchill, The Scaffolding of Rhetoric, 1898.

Churchill Gives His "Iron Curtain Speech."

On March 5, 1946, the presence of Winston Churchill and President Harry Truman turned a college gymnasium in a small Midwestern town into a world state as Churchill delivered his most famous post- World War II address - "The Sinews of Peace."

That Churchill and Truman would travel to Fulton, Missouri, is a story of a college president with the boldness to ask for the seemingly impossible; of a Westminster College alumnus with access to the President of the United States; of a President of the United States with the willingness to endorse the invitation; and of a recently defeated British Prime Minister with the shrewdness to recognize an opportunity.

It is a story of coincidence and a moment boldly grasped - a combination Churchill capitalized on throughout his life.

Lord Alan Watson

Alan Watson is Chairman of The Cambridge Foundation, CTN Communications, Havas Media UK, Nexus Publishing, the wine importer Raisin Social, and ICOMP.

Rt Hon Lord Alan Watson

He is a former broadcaster, presenting both "The Money Programme" on BBC2 and "Panorama" on BBC1, and is a Fellow and former Chairman of the Royal Television Society. From 1976 to 1980 he was responsible for Media at the European Commission.

He is International Chairman Emeritus of the English-Speaking Union and President of the British German Association, as well as a member of the Prince of Wales Business Leaders' Forum.

Lord Watson chairs the British Accreditation Council and is an Honorary Professor at Birmingham University, an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge, a Visiting Fellow of Oriel College Oxford, and Chairman of Cambridge University's Chemistry Advisory Board. He is a Visiting Professor at Leuven University, an Honorary Professor at St Petersburg State University, and a Trustee of the Great Britain Studies Centre at Berlin's Huboldt University.

Lord Watson lectures at universities in the UK and abroad on media, politics and European Affairs. He has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates and foreign decorations, including Germany's Knights Grand Cross and Romania's Grand Cross of Merit.

In Richmond, Lord Watson is a Patron of the Richmond Society and Richmond Museum, a Trustee of Richmond University (The American International University in London), and Chairman of Arcadia (the Thames Landscape Strategy from Hampton Court to Kew).

*Copied from the website of the National Churchill Museum