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Original ticket and invitation letter to Churchill's famous 5 March 1946 "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri
Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri 1946 - This is an original ticket and letter of invitation to Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" speech delivered at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946. There, Churchill coined the phrase that described the division between the Soviet Union's sphere of influence and the West. This speech incisively framed the Cold War that would dominate the second half of the Twentieth Century: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. I repulse the idea that a new war is inevitable; still more that it is imminent. If we adhere faithfully to the Charter of the United Nations and walk forward in sedate and sober strength seeking no one's land or treasure, seeking to lay no arbitrary control upon the thoughts of men. the high-roads of the future will be clear, not only for us but for all, not only for our time, but for a century to come." Then-President Harry S. Truman traveled with Churchill by special train from Washington D.C. for the twenty four hour overnight journey to Jefferson City, Missouri specifically to introduce Churchill in Fulton. With them was Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy. During the journey, the three men discussed recent Soviet provocations in northern Persia and Turkey. "During the morning of March 5, as the train continued westward along the Missouri river, Churchill completed his speech for Fulton. It was then mimeographed on the train, and a copy shown to Truman" who told Churchill that he "thought it was admirable" and "would do nothing but good, though it would make a stir." (Gilbert, Vol. VIII, pp.196-197). Upon arriving in Jefferson City shortly before noon on March 5, Churchill, Truman, and Leahy drove to Fulton, where they met and lunched with Dr. Franc L. McCluer, the College president, before the academic procession and delivery of the speech. Though the subject of the speech was of utmost gravity, Churchill began with characteristic wit: "The name ‘Westminster’ is somehow familiar to me. I seem to have heard of it before." The speech was broadcast throughout the United States. We have never before offered an original ticket and this is no surprise. In the invitation letter from the Westminster College McCluer specifically stated: "Every seat in the Gymnasium and in the Chapel at the College will be reserved. Seats are non-transferable. Since we have a long waiting list, if for any reason you are unable to use your ticket, please return it to us, or if your plans are changed at the last minute, wire us." Though it is difficult to understand how the holder of this ticket could choose to leave it unused, we can be glad that he did. The ticket is printed on one side in dark blue ink on medium blue heavy card stock and measures 3 x 5 inches. The bottom of the ticked is printed "No. 438" at the bottom center. Typed at the top of the ticket is the name of the recipient, a "Mr. Henry N. Oliver". Condition of the ticket is near fine, clean with unfaded color, marred only by mild creasing to the lower corners. The ticket is protected in a clear, removable, heavy mylar sleeve. The accompanying TLS of 18 February 1946 is printed on Westminster College stationery, measures 9.375 inches by 5.875 inches, with a typed message signed by Westminster College President Dr. Franc L. McCluer. The letter is in fine condition, with two horizontal creases ostensibly from the original mailing, but otherwise clean, bright, and without wear. The letter is protected in a removable, archival mylar sleeve.
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector ABAA/ILAB/IOBA]
Last Found On: 2016-02-24           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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