National Winston Churchill Day on April 9th commemorates the day he was made an honorary citizen of the United States.
Well known for his leadership as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II, Winston Churchill earned his reputation through experience both in politics and the military.
On this day in 1963, a ceremony for honorary citizenship presided over by President John F. Kennedy, took place for Winston Churchill. While Churchill was not present at the ceremony, his son and grandson attended.
Honorary though his citizenship may be, Churchill can uniquely trace his roots back to Virginia by way of Brooklyn, New York. His mother was American, Jennie Jerome. Her marriage to Lord Randolph Churchill produced two children: John Spencer and Winston.
It was the first occasion in U.S. history an honorary citizenship was granted. Since then, only seven other honorary citizenships have been granted. Of those, six have been posthumous honors. In 1996, the U.S. granted Mother Teresa the only other honorary citizenship during a person’s lifetime.
Quite the rare honor, even for a man who had received many honors throughout his lifetime.
WINSTON CHURCHILL FACTS:
- Born in 1874
- Admired British Politician
- Elected to the British Parliament in 1900
- First Lord of the Admiralty
- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- Secretary of State for War and Air
- 1953 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature
- Soldier, Legislator, Historian
- Writer, Artist, Orator
- Strong Relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Died 1965
HOW TO OBSERVE #WinstonChurchillDay
Learn more about Winston Churchill. Read one of the books or watch one of the movies listed below.
- Churchill: The Power of Words by Winston Churchill
- The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm 1940-1965 by Paul Reid and William Manchester
- Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny (2010)
- Darkest Hour (2017) starring Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelsohn, John Hurt
Use #WinstonChurchillDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL WINSTON CHURCHILL DAY HISTORY
April 9th commemorates the day in 1963 that Congress and President John F. Kennedy presented Winston Churchill with honorary U.S. citizenship. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed November 30, 1964, Sir Winston Churchill Day. The one-time declaration led to the annual recognition of Churchill’s honorary citizenship ceremony on April 9, 1963. Newspapers both in the U.S. and U.K. both recognized Sir Winston Churchill Day for many years on April 9th. Over time, the word “Sir” was dropped from the title of the celebration.
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