October 26: Happy Birthday, Winston Churchill
One of the most quotable men of all time, Winston Churchill, contributed to old time radio with his amazing speeches.
One such speech came on the occasion of Hitler's invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941. "Hitler is a monster of wickedness," Churchill intoned into BBC microphones, "insatiable in his lust for blood and plunder. So now, this bloodthirsty gutter snipe must launch his mechanized army at the new fields of slaughter, pillage, and devastation."
Also broadcast on the BBC were speeches that go by the titles "War of the Unknown Warrior," "Give Us the Tools," and "These are Great Days," "We Shall Never Surrender."
Some rumors hold that it wasn't Churchill himself who delivered the speeches, but an actor, perhaps Norman Shelley, who did actually claim to have done so. In either case, it was Churchill who wrote the inspiring words.
The Prime Minister's first radio address came as German forces were marauding across France, and he took it as one of his most solemn duties to do his best, through his oration, to boost the morale of the Allies.
Churchill, the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and an American mother, became British Prime Minister in 1940.