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tv   Reel America Winston Churchills Epic Iron Curtain Speech Portion  CSPAN  December 12, 2021 12:34am-12:46am EST

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at the -- at the actual, you know, from the statute, i think that's much more worthwhile. >> andrew, you were thinking of churchill's remark about the prime minister -- [laughter] >> this has been a real treasure. i give thanks from all of us. welcome and thanks. >> thank you very much. >> the origins of the speech, the iron curtain address really go back to a decision by westminster college president who was casting around for whom to invite that deliver the lecture and he hits on the idea of perhaps inviting winston churchill to come to missouri to deliver this
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address at westminster college. now to get churchill here, of course, is a significant task. major general harry vaughn who happens to be military aide to president truman. vaughn persuades truman to write a handwritten and sends to churchill. words that truman inscribes. >> this is a wonderful school in my home state, hope you can do it. i will introduce you, best regards harry truman. >> it is this letter that brings churchill across the atlantic ocean to heartland of the united states convinced that he has obtained the world's attention. ♪ ♪ >> biggest day in history and 1946 was somewhat overcast as crowds line the street
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in anticipation of churchill's motorcade, 25,000 people were on hand to welcome dignitaries when they arrived in the afternoon from jefferson city. there were marching bands, flags and balloons and president harry truman and winston churchill sat on the the back of the limousine. charge hill smiled at the crowd. waving his cigar. at last, the motorcade entered westminster college. gymnasium was packed with invited guests and dignitaries. loud speakers delivered the speech to overflowed crowd. special section near the stage was reserved for the mother of local men who had died in the war. atmosphere was one of anticipation and uncertainty as churchill kept the content of speech close to the vest and build-up to this
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moment, charge hill kept court with press corp. press co. churchill had craved world stage and here he was once again drawn to the fire of controversy that his words were shoe to bring. this was the moment he waited for warning about the threat of communism in europe. churchill had always processed a prom in addition of history and importations, his rich often inspired range of reactions. everyone anticipated controversy, churchill did not disappoint.
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[inaudible] >> populations around them lie and all our country not only soviet influence but very high increasingly -- [inaudible] >> from moscow.
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and for populations and i must call the soviet still. in one way or another not only the soviet influence but very high and in some cases increasing measures of control from -- from moscow. an attempt being made by the russians to build up quasi communist party in their zone of occupied germany but showing special groups of left german leaders. withdrew west ward in accordance with an earlier agreement.
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150 miles, nearly 400 miles to allow russian allies to occupy the vast expanse which western democracies had conquered. if now the soviet government tries by separate action to build up a procommunist germany in their areas, this will force new serious difficulties in the american and british zones and will give the defeated germans putting themselves up between the soviets and the western democracy. whatever conclusions maybe drawn from these, facts they are, this is certainly not deliberated europe we thought to build up. nor is it one which contains permanent peace. on the other hand, ladies and gentlemen, i repulse the idea that a new war is inevitable,
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still more than imminent. it is because i'm sure that our fortunates are still in your hands in our own hands and that we owe power to save the people to speak out now like i have the occasion and the opportunity to do so. >> churchill walked away certain that he had stirred a hornet's nest of controversy. he knew antisoviet remarks would make a splash and would later remark that perhaps the speech had started thinking that would make history. churchill brushed aside criticism that labeled him a warmonger. but he did believe the soviets sought the fruits of war and indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. the only proper response was to hold fast. i am convinced that there's nothing they had myer so much as strength, predictability the world's reaction was outraged and stance against moscow was thought to be dead
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wrong. president truman who had personally invited and introduce churchill insisted that he had no idea what was in the speech ahead of time although historians believe truman was aware what churchill had written. the chicago sun times called the speech poisonous and one new york paper add declaration of war against russia while many in congress called it shocking. on the trip back to london, crowds gathered outside his new york hotel, winy, winy, go away, united nations is here to stay. a british foreign office report on the speech found that churchill's conclusions were supported by u.s. conservatives and military departments but condemned by congress, the media and the public. nevertheless, it stated the speech gave the sharpest jolt to american thinking since the end of the war and would set the pattern of discussion on world affairs for some time to come. and in the soviet union, russian leader joseph
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stalin denounced the speech as warmongering and compared comments to adolf hitler. ♪ ♪ >> two world war i historians joined us to farrate the 1920 silent film on the journey of the remains of unknown american world war soldier from france to arlington national cemetery. >> ellison, how did this whole concept of the unknown soldier being honored come about? >> well, it really goes back to the beginning of the machinization of warfare and you get unidentifiable remains. you had a lot in the civil war but people were struggling with the fact that they could not figure out who many of the casualties were so great britain and france in 1920 buried an unknown soldier in each of their countries and gate britain it was in
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westminster abbey and in france, the u.s. decide today do something similar to that. the idea was started by representative hamilton fisch of new york. >> here the cask et is being carried down to the united states capitol, scene that modern americans will see on our time and make its way to the streets of washington and over to arlington cemetery. let's watch for just a minute.
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>> and so that is where today you see the larger over that which was not yet constructed at this moment. >> and there the shot of arlington cemetery much as we see it today with the many white head stones marking the graves of the fallen. >> the capital lit up at night. i think it's important to pause for a moment and think about the meaning that the unknown soldier had at this time. it was about world war i, yeah, but it was also thought to be a memorial that could connect all of the different american conflicts that can stretch beyond world war i and honor those who served in the nation's armed forces and that really continues very strongly until today. >> you're watching american history tv, exploring our nation's past. watch book tv now


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