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Sir Winston a U.S. Citizen

Apr. 9, 1963 - Sir Winston Churchill (pictured with his granddaughter) became an honorary U.S. citizen today and seized the occasion to issue a ringing call for continued British greatness. In a letter to President Kennedy, thanking him and the American people for the “unique distinction” of honorary citizenship, Sir Winston said: “I reject the view that Britain and the Commonwealth should now be relegated to a minor role in the world. Our past is the key to our future, which I firmly trust and believe will be no less fertile and glorious.” The letter was read by Randolph Churchill, son of the 88-year-old former Prime Minister. The reading was part of a White House ceremony at which President Kennedy issued a proclamation at Congressional direction, conferring the honor upon Sir Winston. In Britain, Sir Winston watched a television broadcast of the proceedings and was said to be deeply moved. The program was carried to the BBC by the Relay satellite. “By adding his name to our rolls,” President Kennedy said, “we mean to honor him, but his acceptance honors us far more. For no statement or proclamation can enrich his name now — the name Sir Winston Churchill is already legend.” From a White House window, Joseph P. Kennedy, the President’s father, watched the ceremonies. Mr. Kennedy, now recovering from a stroke, was Ambassador to Britain when Winston Churchill was sounding his prophetic but unheeded warnings against the rising might of Nazi Germany.

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