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70 Years Ago Today: Winston Churchill Delivers His "Iron Curtain" Speech

(Photo: Library and Archives Canada)

Sir Winston Churchill, the Man of the Century, saw the dangers of Nazism before almost anyone else in the free world did. Then, after having defeated that threat and been promptly tossed out of office in 1945, he began warning the West of a new danger: Soviet Communism.

70 years ago today, on March 5, 1946, Churchill spoke as a private citizen at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. He delivered a speech titled the "Sinews of Peace." But it has come to be known as the Iron Curtain speech. For in that speech, Churchill gave to the free world a startling visual metaphor for what had happened in Europe over the course of a year:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow. 

You can listen to an audio recording of the full speech here.

-via VA Viper

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