Today is the anniversary of Churchill’s death. The state funeral was on January 30th, 1965. I can’t believe that I am old enough to remember it. It was awe inspiring. This is a piece by John Keegan from a few years ago in Time. And here is a recent one celebrating his birthday in November by Justin D. Lyons. And this is his first broadcast as Prime Minister on May 19, 1940. This is a very good recent biography by Geoffrey Best. Remember and learn.
Simon Schama, in his uneven but always-entertaining History of Britain, mentions with some chagrin that neither President Johnson nor any other high-ranking American political figures bothered to attend WSCs funeral obsequies. What a shame. We all know what kind of sorry end the LBJ administration came to. Can we not see in this shocking omission a lack of virtu portending disaster?
Johnson supposedly didnt go on doctors orders (he had a bad cold), and was too vain to let Vice President Humphrey go, or let Eisenhower (who attended) be deisgnated as the official head of the U.S. delegation.
In response to PJC: Whether Johnson was able to attend or not, the absence of a high-ranking official from his administration suggests the acute discomfort that mean and petty men, of whom Johnson is a prime example, have with greatness.