May 13, 1940
May 13, 1940, was a very important day in history. It was the day that Winston Churchill gave an address to his fellow politicians. He had just accepted the position as British prime minister, and World War II had just begun. He made a fantastic speech where he pledged victory. Today, he is celebrated for this speech, but there are a few things that you may not know about the man. Here is the little-known truth about the darker side of Winston Churchill, along with a few other unknown facts.
Leading to Triumph
Churchill made have had some tough times in politics; however, he was very effective during World War II. He stood up against Nazi Germany, and he worked alongside Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. President, and the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin to lead the Allied forces to triumph. He is best known for his incredible and motivating speeches.
He Was Bad In School
When Churchill was just 7-years-old, he attended boarding school in England, and he hated it. His grades and behavior were poor. Over the years, he focused more on his studies, but his behavior never improved.
In 1893, Churchill began military training. He entered the British Army, and two years later, he earned the rank of second lieutenant. His mother came from a wealthy, affluent family, and he used her social stature to move to Cuba. There, he hoped to see Cuba’s independence war against Spain, and he ended up fighting for Spain.
In 1896. Churchill was in British India. He had been traveling in the area for 19 months, and he started to realize that his education was limited. He decided to try to learn on his own, studying philosophy and history books. Soon, he started his own political inclinations. He eventually aligned himself with the Conservative Party.
In 1899, Churchill was hoping to enter the British parliament. When he failed, he turned to journalism. He traveled to South Africa in the middle of the war where he reported for The Morning Post and Daily Mail. While he was there reporting, he was captured as a prisoner of war. Fortunately, he an a few other prisoners managed to escape. They stowed away on trains and ships, and finally, got home to Britain. When he arrived home, he was called a hero. In 1900, he tried again to be a representative in parliament, and this time, he was successful.
As a member of parliament, Churchill earned a reputation for going against his fellow Conservatives. On a number of issues, he voted in support of the Liberal Party’s views. By 1904, he openly denounced the Conservative Party when he “crossed the floor.” This is when a politician alters their allegiance and goes from one party to another. It would be another 20 years before he would cross back over.
Working and Marrying
As a Liberal politician, Churchill was a prominent defender of workers’ rights. He even voiced his approval of a fair minimum wage. He got married in 1908 to Clementine Hozier, who he stayed with for the rest of his life. When he became home secretary a few years later, he had the chance to reform the U.K.’s prison system.
In 1911, Churchill became the First Lord of the Admiralty. This was the leading political position in the Royal Navy. During his role there, he began preparing for the conflict with Germany. He decided that the British should build two battleships for every ship that the Germans built. This helped a lot during the war.
The peak of Winston Churchill’s career was when he took on the role as prime minister. He was a great speech giver, which made the public trust him and believe in him. The very first speech that he gave was on May 13, 1940, to the House of Commons. During his address, he said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” On June 4, 1940, he had to give another speech, but this one was far more dismal. He had to prepare the country for a possible German invasion. The words that he spoke that day will be remembered forever. In his speech, he said, “We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air; we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.” Of all his speeches, this was the most moving and the most motivational.