Winston Churchill’s great-grandson makes his first visit to Westminster College in Fulton, where Churchill delivered his famous ‘iron-curtain’ speech in 1946. Jonathan Sandys spoke at a press conference Friday morning and said he was taken aback when he was told he’d actually be speaking from the exact podium Churchill used for that speech in 1946.
“I’m touching a piece of history, so I’m completely in awe of it. It’s just amazing and Fulton itself is just beautiful I love this place. It’s not going to be my last visit to Fulton,” Sandys said.
Sandys actually took the opportunity to make a statement about recent proposed changes to the Access Missouri program. The changes would decrease the amount of scholarship money available to students at private colleges like Westminster.
“I feel compelled when it comes to education to make stand and to stand and beg Governor Nixon on behalf of the Churchill family particularly: please, please, rethink this. It’s not making a saving, you’re pinching money from Peter to give it to Paul. My Great Grandfather warned that if a country feels that by stinting education it’s going to grow faster, then it’s making a serious mistake,” Sandys said.
He also tried to send a message all the way to President Obama. He asked the President to return the bust of Churchill back into the White House, saying the decision to remove it upset his countrymen. He says the bust was given to President George W. Bush in 2001 as a symbol of unity with Britain, and Bush displayed it in the oval office.
“When President Obama was asked five days before taking office in the White House, he was asked, ‘Would you like it to remain?’ He turned it down, through an aide obviously, but he turned it down. Citing that the history and Churchill were irrelevant, that the war had happened over 60 years ago, and it was no longer important,” Sandys said.
The visit wasn’t all business, though. Sandys said he was very impressed with the Churchill museum at the school, which he toured for the first time today.
“We put a museum in London, obviously the cabinet war rooms, things like that. There is a synergy between the two of them… I’m very impressed by what I have seen. We were talking to some students who were here earlier, some 8th graders, and it was absolutely brilliant they were fantastically interested,” Sandys said.
Sandys says he just moved to the United States last September to run Churchill’s Britain Foundation in Houston, and this was his first opportunity to make it to Mid-Missouri.