1946: Churchill and the Iron Curtain speech

In the 1930’s, Winston Churchill warned the UK and the world about Hitler’s Germany. After World War II, he warned us about the USSR and communist expansion. On this day in 1946, former PM Winston Churchill of the UK spoke to the American people about the Soviet threat. It turned out to be one of the great speeches of the 20th century.

This is one of the most remarkable lines:

From what I have seen of our Russian friends and Allies during the war, I am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for weakness, especially military weakness.

Mr. Churchill, who was a private citizen because of his defeat in 1945, did not speak to a joint session of Congress. Nevertheless, the impact of “The Iron Curtain” speech was awesome.

From that day forward, Churchill’s words about the Soviet threat were quoted by every president and Western leader.  They inspired a new generation of leaders to contain the communist threat.

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