British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was a master orator, delivering many compelling, moving speeches during his tenure as leader. Here, six of his most stirring moments in public discourse.
Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat, 1940
On this day in 1940, Churchill made his first speech after being offered the position of Prime Minister in the first year of World War II. He announced, " I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
The Great Declaration, 1941
In June 1941, Churchill delivered a compelling speech about the Nazi threat. "We cannot see how deliverance will come or when it will come, but nothing is more certain that every trace of Hitler's footsteps, every stain of his infected, corroding fingers will be sponged and purged and, if need be, blasted from the surface of the earth," he said.
Do Your Worst, 1941
Churchill spoke before the London County Council, proposing words which might be directed to Hitler, " 'We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst - and we will do our best.' Perhaps it may be our turn soon; perhaps it may be our turn now."
Now We Are Masters of Our Fate, 1941
On December 26, 1941, Churchill stood before a joint session of the U.S. Congress and said, "Now we are the masters of our fate; that the task which has been set us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our cause and an unconquerable will-power, salvation will not be denied us."
German Surrender, 1945
"We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead," Churchill proclaimed when announcing that the Germans had surrendered.
Sinews of Peace, 1946
At Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Churchill explained the Iron Curtain. "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent," he said.