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tv   Reel America Winston Churchills Epic Iron Curtain Speech Portion  CSPAN  April 1, 2021 6:25pm-6:35pm EDT

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program here to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the iron curtain speech. so again, thank you very much for joining us today. >> thank you. tim >> thank you tim thank occurred thank you edwina. >> thank you all for watching.
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winston churchill's epic irons curtain speech, history alive today is a half hour film published by the national church museum in 2015. it tells the story of the march 5th in 1946 visit by former british prime minister to westminster college in fulton, missouri. and his speech which ushered in the cold war. next on real america. in a minute portion of the film, courtesy of the churchill museum. >> the origin of the speech, the iron curtain interests go back to the decision i winced mince to college president, who is casting around for whom to involve to deliver the lecture. and he hits on the novel idea of perhaps inviting winston churchill to come to fulton, missouri to deliver this address at westminster. now to get churchill here is a significant task. he manages to do so, really
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courtesy of the good officers of westminster alumni, major general harry valon who happens to me a military aid to president truman on persuades truman to add a hand written post it on the invitation and the clerk sends mr. churchill. the words that truman inscribes or, this is a wonderful school in my home state, and if you can do, it all introduced. you best regards, harry truman. >> it is this letter that brings churchill across the atlantic ocean to the heartland of the united states. convinced that he has obtained the world's attention. >> fulton's biggest day in history, as the day we put it, had finally arrived. march 5th, 1946 was somewhat overcast, as crowds lined the street in anticipation of churchill's motorcade. about 25,000 people were on hand to welcome him when they arrived at just one afternoon
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from jefferson city. they were marching bands, flags and balloons. president harry truman and withstand churchill set up on the back of the open limousine. between them, the president of westminster college, doctor frank mcclure slant lower down on the seat. churchill saluted the crowd, giving his feet for victory sign and waving his cigar as the car weaved along the route. at last, the motorcade and toured the rounds of westminster college. the gymnasium was plaque with invited the guests and dignitaries. loudspeakers outside the auditory delivered the speech to an overflow crowd. a special section near the state was reserved for the mothers of local men who had died in the war. the atmosphere was one of anticipation, and uncertainty as churchill had kept the content of the speech close to his heart. and the buildup to this moment, churchill held court with the u.s. press quarter on the trip to fulton, missouri. i think no comment is a
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splendid expression, he told reporters who asked what he was say at fulton. by using it again and again. throughout his life, churchill had craved the world stage. and here he was once again, drawing to the fire of controversy that his words were sure to bring. >> this was the moment he waited for. the voices ominous warning about the threat of communism in europe. churchill had always possess and uncanny premonition of history and its implications. his rich oratory often inspired a broad range of reactions. his moment in fulton would be no different. everyone anticipated controversy. churchill, did not disappoint. >> stepping in the verdict through the adriatic, an iron curtain has descended upon us. behind the line, lionel the capitals of the ancient status of central and eastern europe.
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berlin, rome, vienna, budapest, belgrade, bucharest and austria, all these famous -- and the populations around them lie in a must go over to the soviet and all our subjects, and one form or another, -- to a very high and sometime increasing measure of control. an attempt is being made to build up a communist party in their zone of occupied germany by showing special favouritism. at the end of the fighting last june, the american and british armies who withdrew westward, in accordance with an earlier
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agreement. -- in order to allow our russian allies to occupy this vast expanse of territory which western democracy had conquered. if now the soviet government tries by segregation to build up a pro communist germany in their areas this will cause new serious implications in the american and british service. we give the defeated germans the power of putting themselves up between the soviets and the western democracies. whatever conclusions can be drawn, this is certainly not deliberated in europe, nor does it contain the essentials of
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permanent peace. on the other hand, ladies and gentlemen, i repulse the idea that a new war is inevitable. still more than before. i am sure our future is still in our own hands and we hold the power to save the future. and i speak out now that i have the occasion and opportunity to do so >> churchill walked away certain that he had kicked a hornets nest of controversy. he knew that the anti-soviet remarks would make a splash, and would later remarked that perhaps the speech had started some thinking that would make history. churchill brushed aside criticism that labeled him a warmonger or, but he didn't believe the soviets sought the fruits of war, and the definite expansion of their power. the only proper response was to move fast. i'm convinced there is nothing
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the empire so much as strength. predictably, the world's reaction was outrage, and his stance against moscow was thought to be dead wrong. president truman, who had reduced churchill, insisted he had no idea what was in the speech ahead of time. many historians now believe truman was aware of what churchill had written. the chicago sometimes called the speech poisonous. a new york paper described the speech as an ideological 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. a british foreign office for sport found the conclusions were supported by u.s. conservatives in military departments, but condemned by congress, the media, and the public. nevertheless, the speech cave these sharpest jolt to american thinking of any utterance since the war,. it set the pattern for
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discussion on world affairs. stalin denounced the speech has warmongering and compared the comments to adolf hitler.

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