tv C-SPAN3 Programming CSPAN November 10, 2016 1:27am-1:47am EST
international churchill conference. the churchill center hosted the event in washington, d.c. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the 33rd anal chur hill conference. my name is david freeman. i am here this weekend acting in as program chair for the conference. we want to make a special welcome to the c-span audience which will be watching us live for all the panel sessions today and tomorrow. so we're sticking to a rigid. timetable.
we're going to get right into it by introducing our first speaker of the morning, the executive director of the international churchill society, mr. lee pollock. >> thank you, david. and i join you in welcoming everyone who is your duty to will be a wonderful conference. or as one of our presidential candidates might say, this crowd is huge. it's been a year since our last and very memorable conference in my case six years since i became your executive director. during the past year with your support we have continued to build on the work that has gone before. just consider a couple of things are do a google search for winston churchill, you'll find 36 million results. we are number three. it's hard to beat wikipedia but we'll keep on trying and we will be more accurate. we have continued our series of events on capitol hill building of one of our proudest moments, the dedication of the boston churchilchurchil l two years ago in the capital.
we've expanded our programs from events with young professionals at the british embassy do seminars at the aspen institute and the national world war i and ii museums. we finance our partnership with organizations such as the royal oak foundation. we've reached out to prominent audiences such as our dinner last year with madeleine albright and tonight at the state department with james baker. when i became executive director, laurence asked me to look into another idea, a permanent home for churchill studies in washington, d.c. i did not know much about that but i found a brochure in our files. it began with we stand on the brink of a new century. quite a while ago. in a moment laurence will tell you what happened next. one of the great pleasures of being your executive director has been the opportunity to know more about the life of winston churchill. and so much of that knowledge has come from you. it is also allowed me to develop deep and cherished friendships.
the to my, the center's overriding purpose is to ensure that today's young people believe in three things. first, that history matters. second, the leadership is meaningful here and that our destiny is not beyond our control. and third, that a special in challenging times one person makes a difference in the world. winston churchill is surely a good example of that. at the end of this month i will be stepping down as the center's full-time executive director. as laurence will tell you i will be succeeded by a very talented individual and i couldn't be more pleased about the chosen candidate. i'm also delighted that i'll remain on the board of trustees and as an adviser and vigorously support all of the international churchill society's activities. i will continue speaking and writing about churchill when the opportunity arises, and if it's a slow news day perhaps i can get "the wall street journal" to let me write another op-ed. [ applause ]
you all know the story when churchill was once asked about retiring, his response was i leave when the pub closes. but the metaphorical churchill pub always remains open as long as, in the words of president kennedy, courage and faith and process for freedom are indestructible. so you'll find in the churchill pub, perhaps with the johnnie walker in hand. come say hello and i will that will have a great conversation for there's nothing more fun than being a churchillian in the company of other churchillian's. a novel turn over the mike to another chairman, laurence geller. >> good morning.
writing in his memoirs, churchill observed his american people that their national psychology is such that the bigger the idea, the more wholeheartedly and obstinately do they throw themselves into making it a success. nearly 50 years ago a small group of enthusiasts came together to compare notes on postage stamps bearing churchill's likeness. only a few months before he died, sir winston's son randolph gave his blessings to the newly formed organization, thus the international churchill society was born. today as we gather for our 33rd international conference, we count more than 3,000 members, and two dozen, over two dozen chapters worldwide.
our journal "finest hour" has been published continuously since 1981. we have hosted royalty, leading politicians, journalists, authors, captains of industry, and renowned scholars. many of whom have not only spoken at our events but also contributed to our journals. above all, we aren't our reputation as the go to organization for anyone, be it idle amateur or failed academic, anyone with an interest in the life and legacy of churchill. our website is visited by more than one and half million people annually, and we are bringing other churchill websites into our fold as we work towards our goal of the least 4 million sessions annually. and while the bulletin has today
more than 30,000 subscribers, our ambitious target of 100,000 subscribers is well within our reach. daily we connect with thousands more through our continuously strengthening social media platforms. even more importantly we have made it possible for high school students around the world to have free access to the churchill archives online, and to use the related and constantly updated spokes learning modules. already some 1000 schools have signed up in the u.s., u.k., canada, australia and new zealand, and we are only just beginning. we have our next step of 5000 schools as our goal. concurrently we continue to promote the teaching of churchill's legacy in schools, both through locally organized seminars free to teachers and students, and by making attendance at our conferences free to these same eager minds.
we have improved as an institution. we have professional staff. we are able to pay for quality contributions to our journals and our conferences. our milestone merger with the american fund for the churchill museum at the cab gnat war rooms in london solidified this growing professional identity, broaden our base and firmed up our finances. in 2013 we donated a bust of sir winston for permanent displays in the halls of united states capitol building and organized an unveiling ceremony at secretary of state and all for congressional leaders, republicans and democrats in a bipartisan effort, publicly affirmed their admiration for the man who was clearly the most
important person of the 20th century. yet despite these achievements, these many achievements, we were at a disadvantage. the u.k. is blessed with a plethora of physical assets that help to keep the memory of churchill alive, the churchill war room museum, the archives of churchill college cambridge. all of these splendid facilities protect churchill's legacy in the u.k. for each new generation to discover. however, within the u.s. the only physical asset is the national churchill museum located on the campus of westminster college in missouri, the site of churchill's 1946 iron curtain speech. this museum was part of a separate organization and needed much more support to expand its reach and attract more visitors. we knew that without a significant platform here in washington, to educate succeeding generations and inject the lessons of
churchill's examples into the mightiest corridors of power, interest in churchill would wane. aging would take its inevitable toll on us, and we would simply fade into unpalatable obscurity. our duty to churchill unfulfilled. so in a depth of the global economic crisis that began in 2008 i developed a plan for the future to be accomplished in 2015, the 50th anniversary of churchill's death. i presented this rather over ambitious but much-needed plan to our patron, the wonderful and wise mary stone into her nephew that always uplifting winston churchill's namesake grandson, whose belief in the need for a permanent home in washington to preserve his grandfather's legacy never wavered for one moment. both gave complete and unconditional support, pragmatic
advice and endless encouragement, although i privately thought they believed i was barking mad. their deaths, winston in 2010, and mary in 2014 whether devastating blows. and it made it clear that time was not on our side. early last year we endured yet another heavy loss with the death of the dean of all churchill scholars sir martin, a passionate supporter of this bold plan which he called our lifeblood. as churchillian's we know that inspiration can always be found in the words of our hero, never give in, never give in, never, never, never. i will admit, however, that those three deaths, the economic downturns which affected our financial situation, and the
daunting challenge we set ourselves meant there were times when i had to fight mightily to keep churchill's infamous black dog at day. but use another churchillian expression, i kept wondering on your other members of the church or failed to provide their own support help and encouragement. the always uplifting sister, that wonderful artist, of course, the irrepressible and continuously generous randolph churchill. will never be able to repay a debt of gratitude we owe and will go to that incredibly hard-working support of churchill family who, despite having their own busy lives, and large families, always graciously give so much of themselves to our organization. it's a testament to what we're achieving today with so many more hard-working family members
are committed to our cause, including mary's eldest son, sir nicholas and randolph's three siblings, ginny, marina and jack. all three of whom have accepted roles within our new organization. so we have pushed forward and at least we can see upland. we have, in fact, achieved much more than the original plan envisioned. we have made it more certain than ever that the legacy of churchill continues to be widely known and appreciated throughout the world. now, thanks also to the hard work, creativity and persistence of both john paul and dr. benjamin, as well as the 1350r9 support of sands and those two wonderful churchillian's, monroe and dick, we are at long last but rightfully merging with the national churchill museum in the
united states at westminster college. our combined strengths are truly a classic case of two plus two equaling at least six. we have come a long way and we've reached an important milestone. to mark this type of change were making some name changes as well. from this moment we shall once again be known as the international churchill society. [ applause ] to increase our name identification with nonmembers, the charter bulletin will be renamed the churchill bulletin beginning with the next issue. we have a new logo, emblematic of a fresh tomorrow --
tomorrow after decades of wishful thinking will officially open our national churchill library and center on the campus of the globally respected george washington university. [ applause ] this long-awaited event could not have happened without the support of two successive gw presidents who are far both great friends of ics. first, the inspiring stephen, in particularly steve knapp, whose wisdom, endless patience with me, perseverance and spirit will make him for ever a much revered churchillian. ics will both intellectually and financially support, advice and ordinate the work of two u.s. churchill institutions. the national churchill library center and the national churchill museum that it will ensure that these two sister institutions not only cooperate
as allies, but promote the memory of winston churchill in north america. importantly, they will flourish together far better that each could do on their own. ics will also be based at this newly purpose built facility, the nclc, to introduce a new acronym in a city full of alphabet acronyms. there we will welcome bright readers, writers, researchers, scholars and the just plain curious to explore the life and legacy of churchill, using a growing and unique archive of documents, books and electronic media. the collection will expand. exhibitions and high profile events will be organized. from here are flourishing journals will continue to be published. the nclc will make meaningful and original contributions to churchill studies.
symposia and lectures and debates will always be happening. links to our sister institutions in britain and fulton will provide an amazing opportunities to sharing exhibitions and events. in short, nclc will be the epicenter for all churchill related activities in the united states. finally, churchillians throughout north america will have their permanent home. not only one link to the historical venue of fulton but situated here in the very heart of the most important of the world's capitals. this new home, our home, adjacent to foggy bottom state department is only a few minutes' walk from the white house where i am happy to say much of my bust of churchill continues to stand as it has now for the last 50 years into the
private quarters of the first family. now, this is not the end. it's not even the beginning of the end. but it is perhaps after nearly a 50-year start the end of the beginning. at long last we now have the tools to do the job, and must look to the future. our plan said that one of those big ideas that churchill understood could completely captivate the names -- the minds of the market people and bring out their creative and energetic powers. here in washington we are surrounded by venerables and venerated institutions of study including for example, only the woodrow wilson international center for scholars of the brookings institution, the heritage foundation and the american enterprise institute. we are dedicated and passionate in our commitment that within