We had been meaning to visit this museum for some time and were glad we finally did. The museum is here in the middle of Missouri at Westminster College in Fulton to commemorate the fact that in 1946, the former British Prime Minister and wartime leader accepted the small college’s invitation to present a speech here. The oration itself is famous because in it, Churchill coined the term “iron curtain” to describe the Soviet Union. Museum exhibits document the life and achievements of Churchill, with emphasis on his roles in World Wars I and II. Also on display are mementos and kitsch bearing his likeness, as well as his brushes and painting equipment. The museum, which also includes a gift shop of Churchill memorabilia (but no embroidered patch, dammit!), is located in the basement of the Church of St. Mary of the Virgin, previously of Aldermanbury, England. Brought here and reassembled stone by stone, the 14th century church was redesigned in 1677 by Sir Christopher Wren after it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and was later struck by a German bomb during World War II. The church, which features magnificent arched windows, serves as a reminder of Churchill’s historic visit. Near the church and museum are two sculptures of the great man and a piece called “Breakthrough,” which was created from a portion of the Berlin Wall by Churchill’s granddaughter, Edwina Sandys. It was presented to the college in 1990 in a dedication which included a speech by Ronald Reagan. If you have an interest in history, this museum is well worth visiting.
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