Published on April 9th, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw0
Winston Churchill Day
Winston Churchill Day commemorates the 9th April 1963. On this day, Sir Winston Churchill became the second person in history to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
It was the first time that the US Congress resolved that this great honour would be bestowed by the President of the United States on a foreign national. John F. Kennedy bestowed the honour, however due to ill health, Churchill himself was not present at the ceremony. His son and grandson attended on his behalf.
In our previous article Sir Winston Churchill Remembered we marked the 50th anniversary of his death. A Commemorative £5 Brilliant Uncirculated Coin marking this event is also available from Post Office Shop.
Churchill’s status as one of the Great Britons of all time is never in doubt. Whilst we remember him as the man who led his country to victory in the Second World War, there is much more to this complex, larger than life character.
Churchill: The Memoirs
Following the Conservatives defeat at the 1929 General Election, Winston Churchill disappeared from front line politics. In 1931, he was not invited to join the government when Ramsey MacDonald formed the National Government. Churchill would recall the 1930’s as his, “wilderness years”.
It was during this time that he concentrated on this writing. Under the pen name Winston S. Churchill, he wrote the biography of his ancestor John Churchill in Marlborough: His Life and Times. He also wrote many newspaper articles and speeches making him one of the most prolific and best paid writers of the time.
However, his most famous work as an author followed the Second World War. This critically acclaimed work included his six volume memoir The Second World War and A History of the English Speaking Peoples, a four volume history covering Caesar’s invasion of Britain to the start of World War One.
In 1953, Churchill won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his overall body of work.
Churchill: The Artist
In art, Churchill found respite from the depression, or as he famously called it “the black dog,” which plagued him throughout his life. He was an accomplished amateur artist, painting under the pseudonym Charles Morin. Over his lifetime he painted over 500 pictures.
His impressionist style landscape oil paintings depicted scenes from holidays in the South of France, Egypt and Morocco. He also spent much of his time painting his own goldfish pond at his home at Chartwell in Kent.
Today, many of these paintings can be viewed in his studio at Chartwell, now a National Trust property.
Churchill: The Scientist
Whilst Churchill’s status as a writer and his love of art are well known, his knowledge of science may come as a surprise. In the 1920’s and 30’s he wrote several science essays on topics including evolution and fusion power.
A fan of Charles Darwin and H G Wells, Churchill published Fifty Years Hence in 1931. In this essay he predicted the use of wireless telephones, robots, nuclear energy to power societies and the potential to “build weapons of unprecedented destructiveness.” Just eight weeks after the essay was published the sub-atomic particle, the neutron, was discovered.
Earlier this year an unpublished Churchill science manuscript was re-discovered, Are We Alone in the Universe? Written in 1939 he talks about the possibility of extra-terrestrial life.
“One day, possibly even in the not very distant future, it may be possible to travel to the Moon, or even to Venus and Mars,” he wrote.
Did You Know?
Sir Winston Churchill served in government under six monarchs: Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King Edward VIII, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. As Prime Minister, he is remembered with seven of our most influential Prime Ministers in the No.10 Downing Street Prime Ministers Stamp Cover.