If you want to experience a bit of American history come alive, mark your calendar for May 3-5, 2019, to be in Fulton to celebrate the 50th anniversary of America’s National Churchill Museum on the campus of Westminster College.
The museum is the only museum in North America that commemorates the life and times of Churchill, considered to be the 20th century’s greatest leader.
It was in March 1946 that Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill delivered his historic “Iron Curtain” speech at the college. The train that Churchill and President Harry Truman traveled on came through Washington en route to Jefferson City, with the rest of the journey to Fulton by car.
The train passed through Washington at a slow rate of speed. Truman was on the rear train car’s platform, waving to the crowd. Churchill appeared on the platform with Truman just west of the passenger depot. Classes were dismissed at local schools so children could see Truman and Churchill. A few boys in their teens ran alongside the train and got a good look at Truman and Churchill as the train headed out of town.
The anniversary committee is chaired by Randolph Churchill, grandson of Winston. Representing Truman will be Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of Truman.
Also expected to attend are Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of President and Mrs. Richard Nixon, and Anne and Susan Eisenhower, granddaughters of President and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
There will be many educational features during the event: a parade, exhibits, lectures about Churchill, the museum, and the historic church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, which is part of the museum. The church, which dates back to the 12th century, was bombed during World War II. The church was acquired by the college in 1963, dismantled and all 7,000 stones were shipped, railed and trucked from London to Fulton, where it was reconstructed to mark the 20th anniversary of Churchill’s 1946 speech.
The museum opened in 1969 and in 2009 the U.S. Congress officially designated it “America’s National Churchill Museum.”
The 50th anniversary is shaping up to be a historic event itself.