Winston Churchill

(1874 - 1965)

Britain declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939; Winston Churchill became prime minister the following May, stating in his first address to parliament, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” Intent on achieving victory, he gave his “finest hour” speech a month later, in it quoting the lines “He nothing common did or mean / Upon that memorable scene” from Andrew Marvell’s ode to Oliver Cromwell.

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We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we do not want a world of engineers.

—Winston Churchill, 1948

Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.

—Winston Churchill, 1939


“Have reserved two tickets for my first night. Come and bring a friend, if you have one,” wired George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill, referring to Pygmalion’s premiere. “Impossible to come to first night. Will come to second night, if you have one,” Churchill wired back.

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