Old Photos: Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech

Just like many other great speeches, Churchill’s Sinews of Peace address delivered on March 5, 1946 at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri was reduced to a few soundbites that everyone recognizes but can’t necessarily put in a context. In this case there is probably not a person alive who haven’t heard about the Iron Curtain, a Cold War reference to the division between the Soviet- and Western-influenced zones in Europe. For almost half a century, the Iron Curtain dominated the international relations, as well as lives of hundreds of millions of people. Today, its legacy is still haunting the world and, on a smaller scale, provides inspiration to a large section of this blog.

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.

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

A crowd welcoming British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

President Harry Truman (L, rear) & former British PM Winston Churchill (R, rear) driving past cheering crowds lining street to welcome pair who will be speaking at Westminster College where Churchill gave speech coining the term "Iron Curtain" speech.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

A crowd welcoming British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

A long line of people waiting to enter the building where Sir Winston Churchill is making his speech.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

Sir Winston Churchill (2L) talking with President Harry S. Truman (2R).© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

Harry S. Truman (L) and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (C), wearing their ceremonial academic robes.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

Harry S. Truman (L) standing beside the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, while he prepares to give his speech.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

US Pres. Harry S. Truman (stage, L) listening to British PM Winston Churchill make a speech regarding the Communist threat which became famous as the "Iron Curtain" speech.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, wearing his academic robes and making a speech regarding the Communist threat.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (L), giving the V-sign while President Harry S. Truman waves his hat.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Old Photos: Churchills Iron Curtain Speech

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (L)smiling while President Harry S. Truman waves his hat.
© Time Inc.George Skadding