A global collaboration between 30 organizations that honor, study, and recognize the accomplishments of Sir Winston Churchill, including the National Churchill Museum (NCM) in Fulton, MO, is holding the International Churchill Conference in England this week.
Dr. Jim Williams, NCM Executive Director, joins over 300 other delegates comprised of Churchill experts, collectors, scholars and historians, who have flocked to the United Kingdom to celebrate and debate Sir Winston’s life, fifty years after his death, sixty years after his final resignation as prime minister, and seventy five years after his ‘finest hour’ leading the fight against fascism in 1940.
“It is a thrill and honor for the National Churchill Museum to be part of Churchill 2015 and the international conference during this Churchill Week,” says Dr. Williams. “The conference sessions and events demonstrate yet again the continuing relevance of Winston Churchill and the new lessons he continues to teach fifty years after his death.”
This 32nd International Churchill Conference, which opened today, will center around three locations in Oxfordshire: Blenheim Palace, the place where Churchill was born, where he proposed, and where he is buried at Bladon; Ditchley Park, where he conducted high level summit meetings during the war; and Heythrop Park, which is now the home of a Crowne Plaza hotel.
Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill and Conference President, opened proceedings this morning by saying: “It gives me enormous pleasure to welcome here today such an array of esteemed speakers and Churchillians from around the world for the 32nd International Churchill Conference. This event not only offers a moment to celebrate my grandfather’s life, it also unites us to explore the ways in which we remember him, to share ideas, to reflect on his accomplishments and his legacy – and of course to raise a glass in his honour.”
The conference features a packed program of top-level speakers including Professor Sir David Cannadine, Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord (Michael) Dobbs, Professor Margaret MacMillan, Sonia Purnell, Dr Andrew Roberts and Sayid Ahmed Al Mahdi (grandson of the Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmed). Throughout the event, delegates will examine the whole of Churchill’s life, including the controversies surrounding him, in a bid to get to know the man behind the legend.
This international gathering forms a key part of Churchill 2015, the official program of educational and cultural activity taking place throughout the year to commemorate Churchill’s achievements, to highlight his vibrant existing legacy, to promote a range of educational opportunities and to bring his life and work to new audiences on this 50th anniversary of his death.
Sir David Cannadine, pre-eminent historian and Chairman of the Churchill 2015 Executive Committee, said: “I am delighted that there has been such a huge appetite all around the world to celebrate Sir Winston Churchill in this special anniversary year. The quite exceptional commemorations in January were entirely befitting of such an extraordinary figure, touching people in a way which clearly demonstrates that Churchill’s lasting and exceptional legacy will continue to be recognized and to provide inspiration for many, many future generations to come.”
For a full list of events and activity taking place throughout the year as a part of Churchill 2015, visit: www.churchillcentral.com.