created by Todd Ronnei during 2007 and 2008 include anniversary covers
day covers with a Churchill theme.
Ship of State
As Britain struggled alone against Hitler in
1940 and 1941, Winston Churchill continued to seek the aid and support
of the United States by direct appeals to President Franklin Roosevelt.
FDR did what he could within the restrictions imposed upon him by
Congress and public opinion. Shortly after being re-elected to a third
term as president, Roosevelt penned a note of encouragement to
Churchill in his own hand. The note consists almost entirely of a quote
from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1850 poem, The Building of the Ship,
which Roosevelt said "applies to you people as it does to us."
Churchill was deeply moved, and responded publicly to FDR's note in his
radio broadcast of February 9, 1941: "Give us the tools, and we will
finish the job."
This first day cover for the Longfellow bicentennial stamp, along with
Roosevelt and Churchill stamps, was postmarked March 15, 2007.
(or Her) Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors
to the British Sovereign. Its members are largely senior politicians,
who were or are members of either the House of Commons or House of
Lords. Winston Churchill became a member of the Privy Council on May 1,
1907. His appointment, coming as it did even before he had achieved
Cabinet rank, recognized his status as a rising star in
This cover marks the 100th anniversary of Churchill's appointment, with
a period photograph of Churchill wearing the traditional garb of a
Port of Call
United States Navy Destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill
visited the Port of Philadelphia in May 2007. She docked at Penn's
Landing and was open to the public as part of Philadelphia Navy
Philadelphia, the Winston
sailed on to New York and participated in the Navy's "Fleet Week"
celebration, allowing New Yorkers to get an up-close look at some the
Navy's finest warships.
In the Cabinet
Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman resigned due to ill health
on April 3, 1908, H.H. Asquith was next in line to be the
first minister. On April 8, Asquith wrote secretly to Churchill, "With
the King's approval, I have the great pleasure of offering you the post
of President of the Board of Trade in the new Administration." Asquith
also told Churchill that he intended to upgrade the Board of Trade post
to Cabinet level on a permanent basis (which Parliament did the
following year). The Cabinet was announced on April 12, making
Churchill's appointment official.
Strangers in the Night
take great delight in creating combination covers--first day covers for
new stamps that also include older stamps that are in some way related
to the new stamp. For the Frank Sinatra stamp issued in May 2008, I
managed to find a Churchill connection. Stamps honoring both men were
issued on May 13, forty-three years apart. Doing a little bit of
digging I also discovered two other stamps with May 13 issue
dates--1940 Famous Americans stamps for composers Victor Herbert and
Edward A. MacDowell. All four stamps appear on this cover.
(1908 – 2002) was a Canadian photographer of Armenian
heritage, and one
of the most famous and accomplished portrait photographers of all
time.The story is often told of how Karsh created his famous portrait
of Churchill during World War II. On December 30, 1941, Churchill had
just addressed the Canadian Parliament and Karsh was there to record
one of the century's great leaders. "He was in no mood for portraiture
and two minutes were all that he would allow me as he passed from the
House of Commons chamber to an anteroom," Karsh wrote in Faces of Our Time. Churchill
marched into the room scowling, "regarding my camera as he might regard
the German enemy." His expression suited Karsh perfectly, but the cigar
stuck between his teeth seemed incompatible with such a solemn and
formal occasion. "Instinctively, I removed the cigar. At this the
Churchillian scowl deepened, the head was thrust forward belligerently,
and the hand placed on the hip in an attitude of anger." The image
captured Churchill and the Britain of the time perfectly — defiant and
This first day cover features two of the three Karsh centennial stamps
(a third stamp features Audrey Hepburn) as well as the 1965 Churchill
memorial issue, which is also based on Karsh's portrait.
the weekend Churchill became President of the Board of Trade he visited
Blenheim Palace, home to his cousin the Duke of Marlborough, where he
renewed his prior acquaintance with Miss Clementine Hozier. They wrote
to each other regularly over the next few months, and both again
visited Blenheim in August. In the late afternoon of Tuesday the 11th,
Winston took Clementine for a walk. It began to rain and the couple
took shelter in the ornamental Temple of Diana. There Churchill
proposed to Clementine and was accepted. They agreed that nothing
should be said until she had told her mother. But on the way back to
the house they saw Churchill's friend F.E. Smith. Churchill danced
across the grass, flung his arms around Smith's neck and blurted out
This 100th anniversary cover features a Blenheim Palace stamp and an
Winston and Clementine wasted no time in
tying the knot. Their marriage was arranged for September 12 at St.
Margaret's Westminster, the parish church of the House of Commons. The
bride wore a white ivory satin dress with flowing veil of soft white
tulle, and carried a bouquet of white tube roses and a prayer book
bound in white parchment. She was given away by her bother Bill and was
attended by five bridesmaids. The reception was held at Lady St.
Helier's house in Portland Place, and the newlyweds honeymooned at
Blenheim Palace. Their marriage endured more than 56 years until
Churchill's death in 1965.
This 100th anniversary cover has a Westminster, London postmark.
Armistice + 90
Armistice that ended World War I was signed on November 11, 1918 and
came into effect at 11 AM Paris time, for which reason the occasion is
sometimes referred to as "the eleventh (hour) of the eleventh (day) of
the eleventh (month)". In his history of the conflict, The World Crisis, Winston Churchill wondered whether the peace could endure. Sadly, Churchill's doubts would be proved true.