Listen: Excerpt from Churchill's June 18, 1940 'Their Finest Hour' Speech, Delivered Before the House of Commons
Listen: Excerpt from Churchill's Dec. 26, 1941 Address before the U.S. Congress
Prints and Photographs Collection, Library of Congress
Winston S. Churchill as Great Britain's new chancellor of exchequer, Nov. 7, 1924.
Lady Mary Soames, Churchill's youngest daughter, at the opening of the Library of Congress exhibit.
Twice prime minister of Great Britain, Sir Winston Churchill is most remembered for his courageous and dogged leadership during World War II. With Hitler's successful invasions of much of Europe, Britain found itself alone and facing near defeat. Churchill, who had known many personal defeats in his own life, refused to give in and turned to the United States for help. The relationship Churchill forged with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt set the standard for today's American-British alliance.
Churchill's ties with America are the focus of a new exhibit at the Library of Congress, Churchill and the Great Republic. His relationship began through his mother, Jenny Jerome, an American heiress, and culminated with the British-American alliance that, along with Soviet Russia, stopped Hitler's advance and won the war against Japan in the Pacific.
The exhibit's 200 artifacts — photos, childhood letters, audio recordings and exchanges with world leaders — are culled from holdings at the Library of Congress and the Churchill Archives in Cambridge, England. NPR's Susan Stamberg toured the exhibition, which runs through June 26, with Lady Mary Soames, Churchill's youngest and only surviving child.