Today in History — Winston Churchill Delivers his “Iron Curtain” Speech
On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill spoke at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. President Harry S. Truman introduced the former British Prime Minister who then delivered one of the most memorable speeches of the twentieth century.
Reporters were given advance copies; however, deliberately omitted from those copies was the part of the address where Churchill used the term “iron curtain.”
Churchill warned that Joseph Stalin was intent on cutting off all of Eastern Europe from the West in order to establish communist domination through the region. Read More
-from the Truman Library
Today in history, January 14, 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt leaves for the Casablanca Conference with Winston Churchill and becomes the first President to leave the U.S. during wartime.
Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt reviews the troops during his trip to Morocco for the Casablanca Conference. 1/21/43.
-from the FDR Library
Who wants a Christmas tree?
One of the things many people don’t know about FDR is that he considered himself to be a tree farmer and this included growing and selling Christmas trees from his property in Hyde Park. In 1943 he shipped a Christmas tree to Winston Churchill via the U.S. Army.
The “Big Three” in Teheran, November 30, 1943
From November 28 to December 1, 1943, the “Big Three”—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill—met at Teheran, Iran to discuss the progress of the war and plans for what would become the D-day invasion of June 6, 1944.
Frames excerpted from:
THE CAPTURE OF TARAWA FROM JAPAN! [ETC.], 1943
Truman, Stalin, and Churchill during the Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was the last major meeting of the leaders of the three main Allied powers and the first of the conferences in which President Truman took part.
The President met both Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill for the first time at Potsdam. The three leaders and their advisors settled many issues, including the establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers to further work on the peace treaties, the governing of Germany during occupation by the Allies, German reparations, the methods for handling war criminals, and the admission of the defeated countries to the United Nations.
In addition, Truman, along with Prime Minister Churchill and Generalisimo Chiang-Kai-shek, jointly issued the famous “Potsdam Proclamation” on July 26, which promised “prompt and utter destruction” to Japan if it did not surrender.
Photo: President Harry S. Truman with Soviet Prime Minister Joseph Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Cecilienhof Palace during the Potsdam Conference. 7/17/45.
-from the Truman Library
Iconic Presidential Photos
The Presidential Libraries are now on Pinterest. You’ll find some of the most requested images from the holdings of all 13 Presidential Libraries.
We’re pinning the historic moments, meetings with world leaders, Air Force One, First Ladies, and much more. You’ll find a fair share of White House pet pics too.
Take a look and let us know what else you would like to see!
Photos: Lyndon B. Johnson gives Senator Richard Russell the “Johnson Treatment.” 11/7/63.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower Meeting the Troops Prior to the Normandy Invasion. 6/5/44.
The Big Three — Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference. 2/9/45.
John F. Kennedy points to a reporter at a news conference. 11/20/62.
Gerald R. Ford in the Oval Office. 3/25/75
The Yalta Conference Cloak
The photos of the Big Three at the Yalta Conference are well-known, but have you ever looked closely at what FDR was wearing?
In contrast to the double-breasted coats worn by Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt wore a distinctive wool and velvet cloak during his trip to the Crimea, Ukraine, in February 1945.
The garment is a U.S. Navy regulation officer’s boatcloak. President Roosevelt’s was made at the Naval Clothing Depot at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City in August 1942. It is a standard officer’s boatcloak, ordered and unaltered for FDR’s use.
The cloak is designed to be worn during movement by a boat to protect the wearer from the cold and his clothing from the effects of spray. It opens at the front and is fitted with two frogs (knotted lengths of braided cord), which engage to secure the cloak closed. The relative ease with which such a cloak could be put on and taken off made wearing it an attractive alternative to a more conventional garment—especially for someone whose ease of movement was hampered by the effects of polio.
Roosevelt wore similar boatcloaks during other trips he made during his Presidency. The image of FDR in these cloaks is one of the most enduring of the war years.
-from the FDR Library
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, there was some doubt that the White House Christmas Tree lighting ceremony would take place at all.
The Roosevelts had planned for a “more homey” lighting of the National Christmas tree on December 24 in 1941, and so FDR had directed that the tree be moved from the Ellipse to the White House grounds, just next to the South Lawn Fountain.
But with firm backing from the President, the tree-lighting went forward, and thousands came to the White House to share a bright moment of hope during dark and uncertain times.
President Roosevelt reminded the audience, “Our strongest weapon against this war is the conviction of the dignity and brotherhood of man which Christmas Day signifies—more than any other day or any other symbol.” He continued, “Against enemies who preach the principles of hate and practise them, we set our faith in human love and in God’s care for us and all men everywhere.”
Read the whole story here: http://go.usa.gov/gX8B
Image: President Roosevelt, with Churchill to his right, addresses the crowd at the 1941 lighting of the White House Christmas tree. From the FDR Presidential Library.
Today in 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt met with fellow Allied leaders Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin for the Tehran Conference. From November 28 to December 1, the Big Three, as they were known, discussed strategy against Germany and Japan. This included the decision to launch Operation Overlord, the codename for D-Day.
For a glimpse of history in the making, here are two photos from the Tehran Conference in Iran. The one on the left is a well-known image of the Big Three seated on a porch together. The image on the right shows the action around them, including a crowd of photographers with spent flash bulbs by their feet.
Stalin, Truman, and Churchill at the Potsdam Opening, 07/17/1945
The Potsdam Conference was a meeting of the victorious leaders of the Allies in Europe. Held over two weeks in an unbombed suburb of Berlin, convened from July 17-August 2, 1945.
Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and President Truman began the conference for their respective countries. On the agenda was the partitioning of the postwar world and resolving the problems of the war in the Far East. This included the division of Germany; the movement of populations from Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Italy; the creation of a Council of Foreign Ministers to administer the agreed upon zones of occupation; and issuing a proclamation demanding unconditional surrender from the Japanese government.