In November 1895, a 20-year old English aristocrat, visiting the United States for the first time, wrote to share his impressions of the New World. “A great, crude, strong, young people are the Americans” he reported to his family, “…..like a boisterous healthy boy among well-bred ladies and gentlemen.”
The writer was Winston Spencer Churchill and his arrival in New York was no accident, as he was half-American – his mother, Jennie Jerome, was born in Brooklyn and married the son of the one of Britain’s greatest aristocrats, the Duke of Marlborough.
Churchill’s visit was the beginning of a lifelong relationship with America and its people. He came to the United States regularly and here found some of his closest mentors, friends, and collaborators. Speaking to a joint session of Congress in December 1941 he famously quipped: “I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way around, I might have got here on my own.” Later, asked in which country he would like to be a citizen if he were born again, he replied “There is one country where a man knows he has an unbounded future – the USA.”
While he was a British subject, Churchill’s embrace of the United States made him a true “American hero”.
Join Lee Pollock as he explores the fascinating American side of Sir Winston Churchill.
Lee Pollock is a Trustee and Advisor to the Board of The International Churchill Society, a non-profit research and educational organization with offices in Washington and London, and served as its full-time Executive Director for six years.