Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Churchill Series - Dec. 16, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

During late January and early February, 1932, Churchill was on a speaking tour in America. He warned of "communism and the disintegrating forces of a disunited Europe."

He argued that Britain and America should ally to keep order in the world. "Why should we not frankly recognize that there must be some source of doctrine and authority to rescue nations from confusion?"

Quite apart from the political controversy his remarks engendered, it took physical courage for Churchill to stand before his audiences. He knew there were a number of plots by Asian Indian extremists to assassinate him.

Host cities went to great lengths to protect his life . Detroit, for example, assigned a special detail of 12 detectives to accompany him while he was in the city. Another dozen plainclothes officers were in the audience when he spoke while many uniformed police officers watched the lecture hall.

Churchill was stoned twice during the tour; and in one case an armored car was put at his disposal. But he completed the tour, having refused to cancel any engagement in the face of threats.
Martin Gilbert,
Churchill and America. (pgs. 136-139)