Politics 2017 - daymake.net

Independence Day in Mexico

Independence Day ( Día de la Independencia) is a Mexican holiday to celebrate the “cry of independence” on September 16, 1810, which started a revolt against the Spaniards. It follows from the day of the Cry of Dolores (El Grito de Dolores), on September 15.


Celebrate Independence Day

Mexicans celebrate their country’s Independence Day with fireworks, parties (fiestas), food, dance and music on September 16. Flags, flowers and decorations in the colors of the Mexican flag – red, white and green – are seen in public areas in cities and towns in Mexico. Whistles and horns are blown and confetti is thrown to celebrate this festive occasion. “Viva Mexico” or “Viva la independencia” are shouted amidst the crowds on this day.

Public Life

Independence Day is a national public holiday in Mexico. Banks, schools, government offices and many businesses are closed. Some streets and roads may be closed or restricted in major cities to make way for large celebrations. People intending on travelling via public transport in Mexico should check with public transit authorities on any timetable or route changes.

About Independence Day

Independence Day celebrates the day Miguel Hidalgo is believed to have made the cry of independence ( El Grito de la Independencia) in the town of Dolores, in the north-central part of the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Hidalgo was one of the nation’s leaders during the War of Independence in Mexico.

There is no scholarly agreement on what was exactly said by Hidalgo, but his speech, also known as the cry of Dolores ( el Grito de Dolores), was made on September 16, 1810 to motivate people to revolt against the Spanish regime. Hidalgo’s army fought against the Spanish soldiers in the fight for independence, but he was captured and executed on July 30, 1811. Mexico’s independence was not declared until September 28, 1821.

Did You Know?

Miguel Hidalgo was a priest but was also known to have lived outside the parameters of celibacy. He was believed to have fathered children, including 2 daughters.

Independence Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type

An Overview of the Actual Causes of the Mexican War of Independence

Encouraged by the voyages of the famous Christopher Columbus, many European explorers forayed into the ‘New World’, i.e., the Americas. Incidentally, the name ‘America’ comes from the name of another such explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. Hernán Cortés, a Spanish conquistador eliminated the incumbent powers in central America, primary among which were the Aztecs, and established Spanish rule in 1521. The political and social structure established by the Spanish Viceroy was one that heavily favored the Spanish population. Spanish-born peninsulares and American-born Spaniards, criollos held the higher positions, and the mestizos, born of mixed parentage, and the indigenous people were given low-level, labor jobs. The social paradigm, always unbalanced with respect to the demographics, was bound to fail at some point. Mexico gained independence from the oppressive Spanish rule in 1821, exactly 3 centuries after the fall of the Aztec empire.

Conspiracy of the Machetes

There had been an attempt, 11 years before the start of the actual war of independence, to eradicate the Spanish from Mexico. A poor criollo worker Pedro de la Portilla and his friends and relatives had planned to free convicts from jails and, with their help, ransack the Viceregal offices, capturing important officials and Spanish funds. However, a cousin of Portilla, not coming to terms with the explosive plan, ratted on the company to the authorities and all of them were arrested. Some died in prison, but Portilla survived to see an independent Mexico. This failed attempt, called the conspiracy of the machetes was the first spark of Mexico’s independence.

In a speech, now famously known as
Political upheavals in Spain – Napoleon had installed his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, usurping the traditional Spanish Monarch Ferdinand VII – resulted in an unstable Mexico, divided between loyalties towards the Viceroy and Ferdinand VII. The peninsulares succeeded in banishing the existing Viceroy to Spain and installing a retired Spanish general, Pedro Garibay, on the post. The uncertain government, combined with the heavy taxes levied upon the people of Mexico, resulted in nationwide unrest and, ultimately, the war of Independence. The war was brought about by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest, on 16 September 1810. Grito de Dolores (The Cry of Dolores), he passionately urged the gathered masses to fight for Mexico’s freedom. The army, mostly made up of untrained native Indians, sacked the important mining town of Guanajuato and killed many Spaniards and criollos there. The massacre did not go down well with several of Hidalgo’s colleagues, and Ignacio de Allende, a co-conspirator, left Hidalgo with a part of the army. Despite winning a few skirmishes, neither Hidalgo nor Allende could make a decisive move against the Spanish. Both were captured – separately – and executed. Their heads were hung in Guanajuato as a warning to the rebels.

The execution of Hidalgo did not deter the Mexicans from fighting for their freedom. The leadership was taken over by Jose Maria Morelos, another Roman Catholic priest. Under his leadership, the rebels captured the cities of Oaxaca and Acapulco. It was Morelos who declared the official document of independence, which emphasized on equal rights to the native-born Mexicans. He was captured and suffered the same fate as that of Hidalgo and Allende on December 22, 1815. Morelos is one of the revolutionary rebel leaders considered to be the national hero of Mexico.

The efforts of Hidalgo and Morelos were carried forward by Vicente Guerrero and Guadalupe Victoria. These revolutionary guerrillas fought from Oaxaca and Puebla, respectively. In the year 1820, the Viceroy of New Spain, Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, ordered Agustin de Iturbide, a conservationist Creole, to defeat these revolutionaries and put an end to the Mexican freedom struggle.

At the same time, the monarch of Spain, King Ferdinand VII, was forced to sign a liberal Spanish constitution with republic values and practices. Iturbide felt that it might affect the status of the Creoles in Mexico and also realized that if Mexico achieved freedom from Spain, the Creoles might get a chance to rule the country. This made him join forces with the revolutionaries and he came up with the ‘Plan of Iguala’, also known as the ‘Plan of the Three Guarantees’.

The Plan of Iguala was based on three main principles that would lay the foundation of independent Mexico. The plan read that Mexico would get its freedom from Spain; Roman Catholicism would be its official religion; and the peninsulares and the criollos in Mexico would gain equal status. In reality, Iturbide only intended to shift the seat of power from Spain into Mexico. His intention was to have the now-weakened Ferdinand VII come to Mexico. However, the unknowing masses, having been promised independence, largely favored the plan.

The Viceroy, knowing that a rebel victory was inevitable, resigned from his post. The Treaty of Cordoba was signed between Iturbide and the representatives of the Spanish Empire, declaring Spain as an independent monarchy to be ruled by a European king or a local criollo.

However, Mexican freedom benefited only the elite classes, i.e., the Spanish born in Mexico. When Ferdinand VII or any other monarch refused to take up the rule of Mexico, Iturbide crowned himself as the Emperor of Mexico. Nevertheless, his rule was short-lived. He was dethroned a year later and the rule was taken over by the Congress, headed by the triumvirate of Guadalupe Victoria, Nicolas Bravo and Pedro Celestino Negrete.

Mexico celebrates its Independence day on September 16, the day when Hidalgo summoned his followers to join him in the freedom fight. This day is celebrated with great pomp and delight in every town of Mexico. The celebrations start on September 15, when a member of the government announces the grito or ‘cry of independence’ as announced by Hidalgo. The Independence Day celebration is a way for people to remember and honor the heroes of the war who fought for the freedom of their future generations.

Mexican War of Independence begins – Sep 16, 1810 – HISTORY.com

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, launches the Mexican War of Independence with the issuing of his Grito de Dolores, or “Cry of Dolores,” The revolutionary tract, so-named because it was publicly read by Hidalgo in the town of Dolores, called for the end of 300 years of Spanish rule in Mexico, redistribution of land, and racial equality. Thousands of Indians and mestizos flocked to Hidalgo’s banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and soon the peasant army was on the march to Mexico City.

In the early 19th century, Napoleon’s occupation of Spain led to the outbreak of revolts all across Spanish America. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla-“the father of Mexican independence”-launched the Mexican rebellion with his “Cry of Delores,” and his populist army came close to capturing the Mexican capital. Defeated at Calderón in January 1811, he fled north but was captured and executed. He was followed by other peasant leaders, however, such as José María Morelos y Pavón, Mariano Matamoros, and Vicente Guerrero, who all led armies of native and racially mixed revolutionaries against the Spanish and the Royalists.

Ironically, it was the Royalists-made up of Mexicans of Spanish descent and other conservatives-who ultimately brought about independence. In 1820, liberals took power in Spain, and the new government promised reforms to appease the Mexican revolutionaries. In response, Mexican conservatives called for independence as a means of maintaining their privileged position in Mexican society.

In early 1821, Agustín de Iturbide, the leader of the Royalist forces, negotiated the Plan of Iguala with Vicente Guerrero. Under the plan, Mexico would be established as an independent constitutional monarchy, the privileged position of the Catholic Church would be maintained, and Mexicans of Spanish descent would be regarded as equal to pure Spaniards. Mexicans of mixed or pure Indian blood would have lesser rights.

Iturbide defeated the Royalist forces still opposed to independence, and the new Spanish viceroy, lacking money, provisions, and troops, was forced to accept Mexican independence. On August 24, 1821, Spanish Viceroy Juan de O’Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba, which approves a plan to make Mexico an independent constitutional monarchy. In 1822, as no Bourbon monarch to rule Mexico had been found, Iturbide was proclaimed the emperor of Mexico. However, his empire was short-lived, and in 1823 republican leaders Santa Anna and Guadalupe Victoria deposed Iturbide and set up a republic, with Guadalupe Victoria as its first president.

What Actually Happened on the Original Bastille Day

The French national holiday of Bastille Day- celebrated each year on July 14, or le quatorze juillet-may spell fireworks and and a large military parade for some, but for most, it still marks the anniversary of the storming of a grand fortress that was infamous for holding political prisoners, during the first moments of the French Revolution in Paris in 1789.

But the meaning behind that action isn’t quite as poetic as the motto of ” liberté, égalité, fraternité” sounds, says Dan Edelstein, chair of the Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages at Stanford and an expert on 18th century France.

Back in July of 1789, France had already experienced a rough summer that included food shortages, high taxes (as a solution to King Louis XVI’s debts) and the militarization of Paris. Sensing distress, the king called upon the Estates-General-an assembly that hadn’t met in more than a century-to deliver a new tax plan. That resulted in the Third Estate, the non-noble/non-clergy portion of the assembly, breaking from the clergy and nobility, and demanding a written constitution from France. Their proclamation would form the National Assembly in late June. Weeks later, after the king removed a finance minister, Jacques Necker, of whom the estate approved, fears that Louis XVI was attempting to quash any political revolution began to boil.

That fear culminated on July 14 in a march to the Hôtel des Invalides to loot firearms and cannons, and a resulting (and far more famous) trip to the Bastille for proper ammunition. That hunt for gunpowder- not the hope of freeing prisoners-was the main reason for the storming of the Bastille.

The events that followed-the freeing of the few prisoners that remained at the Bastille, but also a deadly battle and the brutal beheading of the prison governor and his officers-were more of a side effect of chaotic uprising, rather than its intent.

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It didn’t take long, however, for the symbolism of the Bastille to change.

“When news breaks in Versailles that people had stormed the Bastille, [the royalty] thought that this was a disaster and that people were out of control,” Edelstein says. “Within the space of about two weeks, they sort of had to revise their narrative.”

Somewhat famously, Louis XVI asked a French duke that evening if the storming of Bastille was a revolt, with the duke replying “No, sire, a revolution.” At first, the royal response was an attempt to compromise with this new situation. The king arrived in Paris days later, Edelstein says, to declare his support of the revolution and don the tricolor cockade. That event bolstered the revolution’s political meaning and the idea of the storming of the Bastille as a demonstration against political tyranny, rather than a violent event. Feudalism was abolished that August.

A year later, France would host t he Fête de la Fédération on July 14 to celebrate the France’s constitutional monarchy and to honor France’s newfound unity. That unity, students of the French Revolution will know, didn’t last long-and the revolution eventually devolved into the Reign of Terror.

July 14 wouldn’t be seen as an official holiday until almost a century later.

“If there was ever a shot heard ’round the world,” Edelstein says, “it was when Parisians brought down the Bastille.”

Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare – Feb 01, 1917 – HISTORY.com

On this day in 1917, the lethal threat of the German U-boat submarine raises its head again, as Germany returns to the policy of unrestricted submarine warfare it had previously suspended in response to pressure from the United States and other neutral countries.

Unrestricted submarine warfare was first introduced in World War I in early 1915, when Germany declared the area around the British Isles a war zone, in which all merchant ships, including those from neutral countries, would be attacked by the German navy. A string of attacks on merchant ships followed, culminating in the sinking of the British ship Lusitania by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915. Although the Lusitania was a British ship and it was carrying a supply of munitions-Germany used these two facts to justify the attack-it was principally a passenger ship, and the 1,201 people who drowned in its sinking included 128 Americans. The incident prompted U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to send a strongly worded note to the German government demanding an end to German attacks against unarmed merchant ships. By September 1915, the German government had imposed such strict constraints on the operation of the nation’s submarines that the German navy was persuaded to suspend U-boat warfare altogether.

German navy commanders, however, were ultimately not prepared to accept this degree of passivity, and continued to push for a more aggressive use of the submarine, convincing first the army and eventually the government, most importantly Kaiser Wilhelm, that the U-boat was an essential component of German war strategy. Planning to remain on the defensive on the Western Front in 1917, the supreme army command endorsed the navy’s opinion that unrestricted U-boat warfare against the British at sea could result in a German victory by the fall of 1917. In a joint audience with the kaiser on January 8, 1917, army and naval leaders presented their arguments to Wilhelm, who supported them in spite of the opposition of the German chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, who was not at the meeting. Though he feared antagonizing the U.S., Bethmann Hollweg accepted the kaiser’s decision, pressured as he was by the armed forces and the hungry and frustrated German public, which was angered by the continuing Allied naval blockade and which supported aggressive action towards Germany’s enemies.

On January 31, 1917, Bethmann Hollweg went before the German Reichstag government and made the announcement that unrestricted submarine warfare would resume the next day, February 1. The destructive designs of our opponents cannot be expressed more strongly. We have been challenged to fight to the end. We accept the challenge. We stake everything, and we shall be victorious.

National Babysitters Day 2018 – Thursday May 10, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018 is National Babysitters Day 2018. KinderCare Child Care‎ Find Child Care Today – Schedule A Tour With Your Local KinderCare®!

Yep, that’s normal, at least in the US. A normal workday is 8 hours, not 12 hours.

In CA, you would be getting 4 hours OT for that 12 hour day. Anywhere else in the US, you would be getting OT after 40 hours in a week, the normal workday being 8 hours and 5 days equaling 40 hours.

What is an entertaining movie to watch with my family on Labor Day?

PG-13 and under movies

Action Movies:

1. Spider Man and sequel

2. Unstoppable

3. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

4. Rush Hour

5. The Tourist

6. Inception

7. Salt

8. The Italian Job

9. The Green Hornet

Crime/Mafia Movies:

1. The Lovely Bones (it got bad reviews but I thought it was pretty good)

Different/Independent/Quirky Movies:

1. According to Greta

2. Napoleon Dynamite

3. Camille

4. The Great Buck Howard

5. The Marc Pease Experience

Horror/Thriller/Suspense Movies:

1. The Glass House

2. Red Eye

3. The Skeleton Key

4. The Ring

5. The Grudge

6. The Others

Comedy/Goofy/Fun Movies:

1. The Brady Bunch Movie

2. A Very Brady Sequel

3. The Wedding Singer

4. Airheads

5. Big Daddy

6. Happy Gilmore

7. Jingle All The Way

8. Heavy Weights

9. Good Burger

10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

11. Spice World (for Spice Girl fans from 1990s/2000s)

12. Mr. Deeds

14. Vegas Vacation

15. The Waterboy

16. Meet The Parents

17. National Lampoons European Vacation

18. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

19. Vegas Vacation

20. Home Alone

21. Home Alone 2

22. All About Steve (It got terrible reviews but I enjoyed it)

Family Movie/Classics:

1. Pollyanna

2. Richie Rich

3. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

4. The Trouble With Angels

5. Back To The Future

6. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

7. A Little Princess

8. My Dog Skip

9. How To Train Your Dragon

10. Fantastic Mr. Fox

11. Toy Story series

12. Coraline


1. The Young Victoria

2. 21

3. Apollo 13

Romantic Comedies:

1. She’s All That

2. The Women

3. Kate & Leopold

4. When Harry Met Sally

5. Leap Year

6. Clueless

7. You’ve Got Mail

8. French Kiss

9. Easy A

10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Play list

11. You Again

12. Mean Girls

13. Valentine’s Day

14. Definitely, Maybe

15. The Proposal

16. Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead

17. Adventures in Babysitting

18. The Hot Chick

19. John Tucker Must Die

20. New York Minute

21. Chasing Liberty

22. Notting Hill

23. What a Girl Wants

24. Confessions of a Shopaholic

25. First Daughter

26. Life as We Know It

27. Bridget Jone’s Diary

28. Morning Glory

29. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton

30. When in Rome

31. Heartbreakers

32. Beauty and the Briefcase

33. Revenge of the Bridemaids

34. The Prince and Me

35. Did you Hear About the Morgans

36. Miss Congeniality

41. Bring it on

42. Can’t Buy me love

43. Bride Wars-some might like it

44. Legally Blonde

45. The Bounty Hunter

46. New in Town-kind of a cute movie

47. With Six you get eggroll

48. The Perfect Man

49. The Lizzie Mcgurie movie-if you were a fan of the show you will like it

50. Duplex

51. Over Her Dead Body

52. My Fake Fiancé

53. Maid in Manhattan

54. 50 First Dates

55. The House Bunny

56. On The Line

57. I Could Never Be Your Woman-it isn’t that great but you will like it if you are a Paul Rudd fan

58. Uptown Girls

59. Little Black Book

60. Just My Luck

61. Love Wrecked

62. The Wedding Planner

63. 13 Going on 30

64. How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days

65. Along Came Polly

66. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

67. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

68. He’s Just Not That Into You-some might like it

69. Crimes of Fashion-it’s a silly movie about the mafia and fashion

Good Romantic Dramas:

1. Sleepless in Seattle

2. Here on Earth

3. Letters to Juliet

4. For Keeps

5. Charlie St. Cloud

6. Save the Last Dance

7. Riding in Cars with Boys

8. Lucas

9. Love Happens-if you are a Jennifer Aniston fan you will probably like it

10. Pretty in Pink

11. Remember Me (I didn’t really like this movie but some might)

12. Dear John (I didn’t really like this movie but some might)

Good Movies with Romance but not really a traditional romantic comedy/drama:

1. Groundhog Day

2. Mamma Mia

3. Sugar and Spice-cheer leading movie

4. Mermaids

5. About A Boy

Hope this helps:)

Should we just have a “clean house” day for the GOP…?

Should we just have a “clean house” day for DEMOCRATS involved in POLITICAL SEX SCANDALS

Grover Cleveland (President of the United States)

He fathered an illegitimate child before running for President, “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House. Ha, ha, ha.”

Bill Clinton (President of the United States)

The 42nd President was impeached following a sexual relationship with White House intern.

Ted Kennedy (U.S. Senator; presidential candidate)

The Massachusetts Democrat has remained a major national political figure despite the Chappaquiddick incident, where his late brother’s 29-year-old ex-staffer, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned when a car Kennedy was driving went off a bridge. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident; he received a two month suspended sentence.

Barney Frank (U.S. Congressman)

The Massachusetts Democrat was reprimanded by the House after his partner ran an escort service out of the Congressman’s home.

James E. McGreevey (Governor of New Jersey)

The married Governor resigned after admitting to an affair with another man – his Homeland Security advisor.

Wilbur Mills (U.S. Congressman; presidential candidate)

The Arkansas Democrat was the powerful House Ways & Means Committee Chairman when he was caught, intoxicated, driving into the Tidal Basin with stripper Fanne Fox.

Gary Hart (U.S. Senator; presidential candidate)

The Colorado Senator was a major candidate for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, but his campaign ended after being photographed cavorting with Donna Rice on a boat called Monkey Business.

Gary Condit (U.S. Congressman)

The California Democrat’s former Intern, Chandra Levy, was found dead in a Washington,

D.C. park, and questions about their relationship – and his poor handling of the media frenzy that followed – led to Condit’s defeat.

Mel Reynolds (U.S. Congressman)

The Illinois Democrat resigned during his first term after having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign worker. He later went to prison.

Neil Goldschmidt (Governor of Oregon)

As Mayor of Portland, Goldschmidt had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old babysitter.

Brock Adams (U.S. Senator)

The Washington Democrat didn’t seek re-election to the Senate after eight women alleged misconduct that included harassment, sexual assault and rape.

Wayne Hays (U.S. Congressman)

The Ohio Democrat, Chairman of the powerful House Administration Committee, put his mistress on the House payroll. He was forced to resign after 28 years in Congress. Comeback: won election to Ohio State Legislature.

Eliot Spitzer (Governor of New York)

The Democratic Governor is allegedly John #9 in a scandal involving high priced call girls and a prostitution ring. He resigned after just 14 months in office.

Gerry Studds (U.S. Congressman)

The Massachusetts Democrat was censured by the House for engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male House Page. He continued to win re-election.

Allen Howe (U.S. Congressman)

The Utah Democrat was a one-term Congressman after he was arrested for soliciting two prostitutes – actually, both cops – in his home town of Salt Lake City.

Fred Richmond (U.S. Congressman)

The New York Democrat was charged with soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy. He was re-elected two years later.

Paul Patton (Governor of Kentucky)

The Democratic Governor had an extramarital affair with a nursing home operator; after she broke it off, the state cited the nursing home with a bunch of violations.

Chuck Robb (U.S. Senator; Governor of Virginia)

The Virginia Democrats admitted to spending time with former Miss Virginia/Playboy model Tai Collins and to getting a nude massage. He won re-election three years later.

Kwame Kilpatrick (Mayor of Detroit, MI)

The Mayor of Detroit faces a possible criminal probe and recall over his relationship with his ex- Chief of Staff that included sexually explicit text messages.

Bob Wise (Governor of West Virginia)

The West Virginia Democrat did not seek a second term as Governor after disclosure that he had an affair with a state employee.




1. Birth & Migration – A Tale of a Sylehti Refugee

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I was born in a district town called Sylhet (also known as Jalalabad by its old name)in the erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. The city situated on the bank of river Surma had been a prominent Islamic spiritual centre and home to numerous Sufi shrines. It hosted the 14th century mausoleums of Shah Jalal and Shah Farhan. I vaguely remember, I had once visited the Dargah of Shah Jalal with my mother in my early childhood.

Sylhet was a wealthy district of Bengal Presidency rich in tea gardens, rain forests and river valleys. It was given away to erstwhile East Pakistan by an evil contrivance of the British Government where the then prominent political leaders of Assam had also a part to play. In consequence, we had lost our ancestral home and financial stability, and our married sisters who had well-to-do landowning families in the rural areas of Sylhet division became almost paupers. We thus lost our roots and became refugees. A brief commentary by Ms. Anindita Dasgupta on the post-partition Sylhet and the Sylheties published in her blog could be seen in the attached file at the bottom of this page.

As to my birth, I didn’t know the exact date until recently. My mother did not have much of an education 1. She could not tell the year of my birth, but used to say, I was born during the World War in a blackout night on the 22 nd Magha by the Bengali Calendar, and the day was a Thursday. My age was recorded in the Matriculation Certificate as 17 years 1 month as on the first day of March, 1960 2. Based on this fact, and a declaration on the exact date of birth made by me, the Govt later fixed my official date of birth as Feb 5, 1943. The date was arbitrary and had suddenly occurred to my mind when I was drafting the declaration. I could not be at rest without knowing my actual date of birth. My mother often mentioned that my eldest maternal uncle Ramakanta Das had got married on the very night I had been born. I asked my maternal cousin Rajat alias Manik about his father’s (my maternal uncle’s) date of marriage, but he did not know that. Unable to proceed from that angle, I tried to work it out from other related events of that time. As the birth was during the world war, which could not but be the second world war I surmised the year should be 1943 or 1944. It was then the question of finding calendars of those years. It was a hard task to get calendars that old. I tried various sources, but could not succeed. No one in the family or outside was of any help. By disposition, I am not one to give up easily. I kept on the search. At long last my tenacious efforts brought me success. While editing this document in my primary website for the first time I surfed the internet for the Bengali Calendar corresponding to the year 1943 and chanced upon a website 3 from which I could find the combined calendars in English and Bengali for the months of Magha corresponding to February 1942, 1943 and 1944. Correlating the Calendar for February 1943 with the data my mother had given in respect of my date of birth I found that my actual date of birth was the 4th of February, 1943 corresponding to Magha 22, Thursday, 1349 BS. Curiously, my actual date of birth turned out to be so close to my official date of birth. Anyway, I now feel satisfied.

Historically this day of Feb 4, 1943 is important being linked with the designing of internal combustion engine. Ransom Eli Olds, the creator of one of the first internal combustion engine designs, received his last patent on this day. Olds was noted for creating the first automobile production line, through a company that has made cars such as the Olds Runabout.

My father was Sarada Charan Das and mother Sarojnalini Devi. They had four sons and four daughters of whom I was the youngest. Four of my brothers and sisters died at a very young age. For details of my brothers and sisters click here .

Like my mother, my father too did not have much education. He was a non-Metric. He was initially a contractor but, later worked as a Manager of a printing press. Our ancestral home was at a place called Rainagar in Sylhet town. It was situated on a tila (hillock). As I remember, we had a big pond in the front of our house on a flat land at the base of the hillock on which situated the house, and an orchard of fruits and other kinds of trees in the backyard.

My paternal grandfather was Dinanath Das and the great grandfather Brojanath Das. I did not have the opportunity to see either of them. Nor do I have any information on them. I didn’t also see my paternal grandmother and don’t even know her name. My father had two brothers – the elder Baroda Charan Das and the younger Basanta Das. He also had a sister Bharati Das. I remember to have seen only the elder brother of my father. He was a widower and had a partnership shop with one of his friends. Possibly, he was addicted to alcohol, though my father never drank. He suddenly died one night at the wee hours at our ancestral home after he returned from his workplace. My father was away at that time. My brother did the last rites of my uncle before consigning the body to flames. I don’t know anything about my father’s younger brother or his sister. I came to know of their names from my elder sister.

We had our maternal house in the same town Sylhet in a locality called “Dariapara”. My maternal grandfather was Ramesh Chandra Das, whom I had seen. He was very fond of the cows he kept at home, and would not have his meal without first feeding the cows. He had two marriages; my mother and her two brothers were from the first marriage. I did not see my maternal grandmother. She had died when my mother was very young. It was my mother, who had brought up her two siblings with the care of a mother. My mother had a number of step brothers and a step sister. All these brothers and sisters maintained a cordial relation amongst themselves, and had mutual love for one another. My mother also had a number of cousins. All the brothers, sisters and cousins had great love and regard for my mother.

Thus, on our maternal side, we had many uncles, some of whom I saw and distinctly remember. We were much attached to our maternal side as we had practically none on the paternal side. For details of my maternal uncles and cousins click here .

We left our ancestral place just after the partition, maybe by the end of 1947 or in the early part of 1948, (immediately following the referendum 4 on the annexation of Sylhet) when my father migrated to India taking the job of the Manager of a Printing Press at Silchar, Assam. The press belonged to one Satinath Dev, the father of the Congress leader of the other day, Santosh Mohan Dev – a one-time MP and a Central Minister from Assam. We were four in the family at that time viz., father, mother, my elder brother and I. My brother had, however, stayed back in the maternal house in Sylhet to appear at his Matriculation Examination from Dacca University. He later joined us in India.

As we migrated, we became refugees and lost the affluence we had in the family earlier. Our property in land and house were left behind in Sylhet as they were. Later, these were treated as enemy property by the Govt. of Pakistan. I learnt from my cousins, who live in Sylhet that our said property in land and building had been occupied by the Muslims who had built new buildings there.

AT Silchar, we stayed in a small rented house in an alley opposite the Railway Station in a locality called, Tarapur. My mother used to do all household scores by herself. I was around 5 or 6 years old at that time and was admitted in Class B (equivalent to present day KG II) in a neighbourhood school (possibly run by the municipality) just opposite our house. I don’t have much of a memory about Silchar. My only memories relate to the nightmarish days we spent there, when frightening reports of atrocities against and massacres of thousands of Hindus in East Pakistan reached us every day during the early part of our stay. Once, during that period, I overheard my parents talking about an incident where all the Hindus in a train were reportedly killed on the bridge over the river Bhairab and the water of the river had turned red by the blood of the people killed. People fleeing in fear of life and honour, who could make it to this side of the border brought with them reports of odious incidents of murders, rapes and other forms of atrocities every day. Our sisters and maternal uncles had stayed back with their families in East Pakistan; the reports of these horrifying incidents added to our worries and anxieties for them. In the long run, none of our relations were, however, physically harmed.

My father did not stay in Silchar for long. After the turmoil of the partition was over, possibly in mid-1949, he shifted to Jorhat in so-called Upper Assam. He again had the job of a Manager at a modest salary in a local Printing Press under the management of a Departmental Store named, “Doss & Co.” there. Incidentally, “Doss & Co” was the first departmental store in the North-East. I spent the whole of my childhood and the early youth in Jorhat. I still cherish my memories of those years.

My father couldn’t acquire any land or house of his own, and we always stayed in rented houses in Jorhat. In fact, we did not have any house of our own since we had left our ancestral home in Sylhet till my brother acquired a house of his own in Silchar in the late 1970s and still later, I managed to acquire a flat on co-operative ownership at Salt Lake, Kolkata in mid 1990s. But those are different stories, and will find a place elsewhere.

To go to the next Chapter on “Academic Career etc” click here

to listen to Ms. Anindita Dasgupta’s Blog in my voice. Once you click here it will lead you to a new page where you have to double click the speaker icon in the file named, “Audio Blog on Sylhet-Sylheties…” and Click here wait for sometime for narration to start.

To read the blog, go to the end of this page and click on the file name there. If the file name is not visible for some reason, hover the cursor in the space beside this icon and click on the file name that shows up.

1 During her time, the domain of education was almost inaccessible to women. There were very few women, who could go beyond the Middle School level education. According to available data, only 6% of women were educated in India in 1947.

2 Actually in our Matriculation Certificate date of birth was not mentioned; the age as on the 1st of March of the year of examination was mentioned. Later, while I was in service Govt decided that those having the age and not the date of birth recorded in their school leaving certificates should give a declaration as to the exact date of birth, which would be recorded as the official date of birth of such Govt. servant. It was on this basis that my recorded date of birth became 5th of Feb, 1943. Related Govt. order no. 2141-PAR(WBCS)/2C-10/93 dated August 13, 1993 has been posted in the Appendix page of this site.

I faintly remember to have heard something about Referendum on Sylhet sometimes before we left the place. Later, when I grew up, I learnt that Sylhet became a part of the erstwhile East Pakistan on the basis of a Referendum solely to decide on the annexation of Sylhet. According to available sources the referendum was held on 6 4th and 7 th July, 1947. Originally Sylhet was a part of Bengal Presidency and Assam Province. Though by this referendum Assam lost a wealthy district to Pakistan Assamese people generally greeted it as it fulfilled their long-cherished desire to carve out a homogeneous state for themselves. For greater details refer to http://legalservices.co.in/blogs/entry/Sylhet-Referendum-1947 .

Wisconsin DMV Official Government Site – Acceptable doc. for proof of name……

( ​​en español)​

Wisconsin DMV issues REAL ID compliant products (marked with a ) in accordance with the federal Real ID Act of 2005. If you plan to fly within the U.S., visit a military base or other federal buildings, the Department of Homeland Security will require identification that is REAL ID compliant (or show another acceptable form of identification, such as a passport) beginning October 1, 2020. Don’t get left behind without a REAL ID.

The following documents are acceptable proof of name and date of birth. Documents presented as proof must be original. Photocopies are not acceptable.

For REAL ID ​compliant cards

  • Valid U.S. passport or passport card.​
  • Certified birth certificate or equivalent document from the state, territory, or certificate of birth abroad issued by U.S. Dept. of State (federal forms FS-545 or DS-1350). Canada birth certificates are not acceptable.
  • Consular report of birth abroad.
  • Valid I-551, permanent resident card (issued by the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). Non-expiring I-551 (issued 1977-1989) cards are acceptable.
  • U.S. Certificate of naturalization (federal form N-550).
  • Certificate of U.S. citizenship (federal form N-560).
  • Employment Authorization document​.
  • Unexpired foreign passport with a valid unexpired U.S., visa affixed accompanied by the approved I-94 form documenting the applicant’s most recent admittance into the U.S.

Additional acceptable documents for non-compliant cards

Everything from the above list: or,

  • A foreign passport with federal I-551 resident alien registration receipt card or federal I-94 arrival and departure record that identifies the person’s first and last names, and the person’s day, month and year of birth.
  • A Wisconsin driver license bearing a photograph of the person.
  • A Wisconsin ID card issued under §.343.50, bearing a photograph of the person.
  • Federal I-94 Arrival/Departure Record (Parole or Refugee version) and MV3002.
  • A federal temporary resident card or employment authorization card (federal form I-688, I-688A).
  • Native American ID card issued in Wisconsin.
  • Court order with full name, date of birth and court seal. (Does not include abstract of criminal or civil convictions).
  • Armed forces of the U.S. ID card issued to military personnel. Common Access Card or DD form 2.

The department will decline to accept any document presented if it has reason to suspect the authenticity of the document. Questionable documents may require additional review.

Thousands of refugees celebrate Jan. 1 as their birthday, too

ANNA GORMAN, Los Angeles Times

Abdalla Ali thinks he might have been born during the rainy season. He is pretty sure the year was 1984 but he doesn’t know which month.

Ali grew up not knowing his age or tracking his birthday.

But in San Diego, where he now lives, Ali celebrates each year with his wife, siblings and dozens of other Somali Bantu refugees. They all share the same birthday: New Year’s Day.

Refugees who do not know their birthdays are often assigned 1/1 by overseas workers from the State Department or the United Nations. Though not a formal policy, the practice is common around the world, with refugees from Burma, Sudan, Laos, Ethiopia and elsewhere all turning a year older on Jan. 1.

Of the nearly 80,000 refugees resettled in the United States this year, nearly 11,000 have Jan. 1 birthdays, according to the State Department. Their birth years are based on each family’s own account.

Many of the newcomers were born in homes rather than hospitals, without birth certificates, handprints or cameras to document the day. Others were born in refugee camps or in war zones, where record-keeping was rare. Frequently, births were remembered by their proximity to important events — the year of the famine, the season the village was ambushed by soldiers, the time of the flood.

While some parents were uneducated and didn’t know how to record their children’s births, others, like the Hmong from Laos, simply didn’t consider birthdays as significant as other days.

“Birthdays weren’t that important,” said Joy Hofer, vice president of the International Institute of Los Angeles. “The important events are death and marriage, that’s it.”

Ali, who believes he is 26, said he was surprised by how much attention Americans paid to birthdays. But he quickly adapted to the rituals of birthday cakes, candles, wishes and gifts.

“Having parties is nice,” he said. “It’s very nice to know how old I am and to celebrate my age.”

Even though he is glad to have a birthday to commemorate each year, Ali said another date is still more important to him — the day he arrived in America.

The practice of assigning Jan. 1 birthdays began after the Vietnam War, when large numbers of Vietnamese were being resettled in the United States. Now, it is used for refugees who come from countries without well-developed legal or civil systems, said Beth Schlachter, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department.

“If you don’t have a court system and you don’t have records, birthdays become fungible,” Schlachter said.

Recognizing that an accurate birth record can be critical, the State Department is tracking the number of registered births in countries around the world, Schlachter said. And UNICEF is working to improve birth registration so children from developing countries have access to health care and education and so they are protected from underage employment, marriage or military service.

In America, the new birth date not only symbolizes their new life but also becomes an important part of their record here — Jan. 1 is listed on their driver’s licenses, health insurance and other documents.

Not knowing their correct birthday can present issues for newcomers. If a young refugee is given an age of 19, but he is really 16, he may not be able to enroll in school. And if an elderly refugee thinks she is 60 but really is 70, she won’t be eligible for Social Security benefits.

“If you get your date of birth wrong, it’s a problem,” said Sharlu Tusaw, 36, of Burma, who has worked with refugees in Bakersfield, Calif. “Whether too young or too old, you have to get it right.”

Sir Winston Churchill | prime minister of United Kingdom

Prime minister of United Kingdom

Also known as
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill

November 30, 1874

Blenheim Palace, England


January 24, 1965 (aged 90)

London, England

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Sir Winston Churchill , in full Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (born November 30, 1874, Blenheim Palace , Oxfordshire, England -died January 24, 1965, London), British statesman, orator, and author who as prime minister (1940-45, 1951-55) rallied the British people during World War II and led his country from the brink of defeat to victory.

After a sensational rise to prominence in national politics before World War I , Churchill acquired a reputation for erratic judgment in the war itself and in the decade that followed. Politically suspect in consequence, he was a lonely figure until his response to Adolf Hitler’s challenge brought him to leadership of a national coalition in 1940. With Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin he then shaped Allied strategy in World War II, and after the breakdown of the alliance he alerted the West to the expansionist threat of the Soviet Union . He led the Conservative Party back to office in 1951 and remained prime minister until 1955, when ill health forced his resignation.

In Churchill’s veins ran the blood of both of the English-speaking peoples whose unity, in peace and war, it was to be a constant purpose of his to promote. Through his father, Lord Randolph Churchill , the meteoric Tory politician, he was directly descended from John Churchill, 1st duke of Marlborough , the hero of the wars against Louis XIV of France in the early 18th century. His mother, Jennie Jerome , a noted beauty, was the daughter of a New York financier and horse racing enthusiast, Leonard W. Jerome.

The young Churchill passed an unhappy and sadly neglected childhood, redeemed only by the affection of Mrs. Everest, his devoted nurse. At Harrow his conspicuously poor academic record seemingly justified his father’s decision to enter him into an army career. It was only at the third attempt that he managed to pass the entrance examination to the Royal Military College, now Academy, Sandhurst, but, once there, he applied himself seriously and passed out (graduated) 20th in a class of 130. In 1895, the year of his father’s tragic death, he entered the 4th Hussars. Initially the only prospect of action was in Cuba, where he spent a couple of months of leave reporting the Cuban war of independence from Spain for the Daily Graphic (London). In 1896 his regiment went to India, where he saw service as both soldier and journalist on the North-West Frontier (1897). Expanded as The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898), his dispatches attracted such wide attention as to launch him on the career of authorship that he intermittently pursued throughout his life. In 1897-98 he wrote Savrola (1900), a Ruritanian romance , and got himself attached to Lord Kitchener’s Nile expeditionary force in the same dual role of soldier and correspondent. The River War (1899) brilliantly describes the campaign.

Political career before 1939

The five years after Sandhurst saw Churchill’s interests expand and mature. He relieved the tedium of army life in India by a program of reading designed to repair the deficiencies of Harrow and Sandhurst, and in 1899 he resigned his commission to enter politics and make a living by his pen. He first stood as a Conservative at Oldham, where he lost a by-election by a narrow margin, but found quick solace in reporting the South African War for The Morning Post ( London ). Within a month after his arrival in South Africa he had won fame for his part in rescuing an armoured train ambushed by Boers, though at the price of himself being taken prisoner. But this fame was redoubled when less than a month later he escaped from military prison. Returning to Britain a military hero, he laid siege again to Oldham in the election of 1900. Churchill succeeded in winning by a margin as narrow as that of his previous failure. But he was now in Parliament and, fortified by the £10,000 his writings and lecture tours had earned for him, was in a position to make his own way in politics.

A self-assurance redeemed from arrogance only by a kind of boyish charm made Churchill from the first a notable House of Commons figure, but a speech defect, which he never wholly lost, combined with a certain psychological inhibition to prevent him from immediately becoming a master of debate. He excelled in the set speech, on which he always spent enormous pains, rather than in the impromptu; Lord Balfour, the Conservative leader, said of him that he carried “heavy but not very mobile guns.” In matter as in style he modeled himself on his father, as his admirable biography , Lord Randolph Churchill (1906; revised edition 1952), makes evident, and from the first he wore his Toryism with a difference, advocating a fair, negotiated peace for the Boers and deploring military mismanagement and extravagance.

As Liberal minister

In 1904 the Conservative government found itself impaled on a dilemma by Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain’s open advocacy of a tariff. Churchill, a convinced free trader , helped to found the Free Food League. He was disavowed by his constituents and became increasingly alienated from his party. In 1904 he joined the Liberals and won renown for the audacity of his attacks on Chamberlain and Balfour. The radical elements in his political makeup came to the surface under the influence of two colleagues in particular, John Morley, a political legatee of W.E. Gladstone, and David Lloyd George , the rising Welsh orator and firebrand. In the ensuing general election in 1906 he secured a notable victory in Manchester and began his ministerial career in the new Liberal government as undersecretary of state for the colonies. He soon gained credit for his able defense of the policy of conciliation and self-government in South Africa. When the ministry was reconstructed under Prime Minister Herbert H. Asquith in 1908, Churchill was promoted to president of the Board of Trade, with a seat in the cabinet. Defeated at the ensuing by-election in Manchester , he won an election at Dundee . In the same year he married the beautiful Clementine Hozier; it was a marriage of unbroken affection that provided a secure and happy background for his turbulent career.

At the Board of Trade, Churchill emerged as a leader in the movement of Liberalism away from laissez-faire toward social reform. He completed the work begun by his predecessor, Lloyd George, on the bill imposing an eight-hour maximum day for miners. He himself was responsible for attacking the evils of “sweated” labour by setting up trade boards with power to fix minimum wages and for combating unemployment by instituting state-run labour exchanges.

When this Liberal program necessitated high taxation, which in turn provoked the House of Lords to the revolutionary step of rejecting the budget of 1909, Churchill was Lloyd George’s closest ally in developing the provocative strategy designed to clip the wings of the upper chamber. Churchill became president of the Budget League, and his oratorical broadsides at the House of Lords were as lively and devastating as Lloyd George’s own. Indeed Churchill, as an alleged traitor to his class, earned the lion’s share of Tory animosity. His campaigning in the two general elections of 1910 and in the House of Commons during the passage of the Parliament Act of 1911 , which curbed the House of Lords’ powers, won him wide popular acclaim. In the cabinet his reward was promotion to the office of home secretary. Here, despite substantial achievements in prison reform, he had to devote himself principally to coping with a sweeping wave of industrial unrest and violent strikes. Upon occasion his relish for dramatic action led him beyond the limits of his proper role as the guarantor of public order. For this he paid a heavy price in incurring the long-standing suspicion of organized labour .

In 1911 the provocative German action in sending a gunboat to Agadir , the Moroccan port to which France had claims, convinced Churchill that in any major Franco-German conflict Britain would have to be at France’s side. When transferred to the Admiralty in October 1911, he went to work with a conviction of the need to bring the navy to a pitch of instant readiness. His first task was the creation of a naval war staff. To help Britain’s lead over steadily mounting German naval power, Churchill successfully campaigned in the cabinet for the largest naval expenditure in British history. Despite his inherited Tory views on Ireland, he wholeheartedly embraced the Liberal policy of Home Rule , moving the second reading of the Irish Home Rule Bill of 1912 and campaigning for it in the teeth of Unionist opposition. Although, through his friendship with F.E. Smith (later 1st earl of Birkenhead ) and Austen Chamberlain, he did much to arrange the compromise by which Ulster was to be excluded from the immediate effect of the bill, no member of the government was more bitterly abused-by Tories as a renegade and by extreme Home Rulers as a defector.

During World War I

War came as no surprise to Churchill. He had already held a test naval mobilization. Of all the cabinet ministers he was the most insistent on the need to resist Germany. On August 2, 1914, on his own responsibility, he ordered the naval mobilization that guaranteed complete readiness when war was declared. The war called out all of Churchill’s energies. In October 1914, when Antwerp was falling, he characteristically rushed in person to organize its defense. When it fell the public saw only a disillusioning defeat, but in fact the prolongation of its resistance for almost a week enabled the Belgian Army to escape and the crucial Channel ports to be saved. At the Admiralty, Churchill’s partnership with Adm. Sir John Fisher, the first sea lord, was productive both of dynamism and of dissension. In 1915, when Churchill became an enthusiast for the Dardanelles expedition as a way out of the costly stalemate on the Western Front, he had to proceed against Fisher’s disapproval. The campaign aimed at forcing the straits and opening up direct communications with Russia. When the naval attack failed and was called off on the spot by Adm. J.M. de Robeck, the Admiralty war group and Asquith both supported de Robeck rather than Churchill. Churchill came under heavy political attack, which intensified when Fisher resigned. Preoccupied with departmental affairs, Churchill was quite unprepared for the storm that broke about his ears. He had no part at all in the maneuvers that produced the first coalition government and was powerless when the Conservatives, with the sole exception of Sir William Maxwell Aitken (soon Lord Beaverbrook), insisted on his being demoted from the Admiralty to the duchy of Lancaster. There he was given special responsibility for the Gallipoli Campaign (a land assault at the straits) without, however, any powers of direction. Reinforcements were too few and too late; the campaign failed and casualties were heavy; evacuation was ordered in the autumn.

In November 1915 Churchill resigned from the government and returned to soldiering, seeing active service in France as lieutenant colonel of the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers. Although he entered the service with zest, army life did not give full scope for his talents. In June 1916, when his battalion was merged, he did not seek another command but instead returned to Parliament as a private member. He was not involved in the intrigues that led to the formation of a coalition government under Lloyd George, and it was not until 1917 that the Conservatives would consider his inclusion in the government. In March 1917 the publication of the Dardanelles commission report demonstrated that he was at least no more to blame for the fiasco than his colleagues.

Even so, Churchill’s appointment as minister of munitions in July 1917 was made in the face of a storm of Tory protest. Excluded from the cabinet, Churchill’s role was almost entirely administrative, but his dynamic energies thrown behind the development and production of the tank (which he had initiated at the Admiralty) greatly speeded up the use of the weapon that broke through the deadlock on the Western Front. Paradoxically, it was not until the war was over that Churchill returned to a service department. In January 1919 he became secretary of war. As such he presided with surprising zeal over the cutting of military expenditure. The major preoccupation of his tenure in the War Office was, however, the Allied intervention in Russia . Churchill, passionately anti-Bolshevik, secured from a divided and loosely organized cabinet an intensification and prolongation of the British involvement beyond the wishes of any major group in Parliament or the nation-and in the face of the bitter hostility of labour. And in 1920, after the last British forces had been withdrawn, Churchill was instrumental in having arms sent to the Poles when they invaded the Ukraine.

In 1921 Churchill moved to the Colonial Office, where his principal concern was with the mandated territories in the Middle East . For the costly British forces in the area he substituted a reliance on the air force and the establishment of rulers congenial to British interests; for this settlement of Arab affairs he relied heavily on the advice of T.E. Lawrence . For Palestine , where he inherited conflicting pledges to Jews and Arabs, he produced in 1922 the White Paper that confirmed Palestine as a Jewish national home while recognizing continuing Arab rights. Churchill never had departmental responsibility for Ireland, but he progressed from an initial belief in firm, even ruthless, maintenance of British rule to an active role in the negotiations that led to the Irish treaty of 1921. Subsequently, he gave full support to the new Irish government.

In the autumn of 1922 the insurgent Turks appeared to be moving toward a forcible reoccupation of the Dardanelles neutral zone, which was protected by a small British force at Chanak (now Çanakkale ). Churchill was foremost in urging a firm stand against them, but the handling of the issue by the cabinet gave the public impression that a major war was being risked for an inadequate cause and on insufficient consideration. A political debacle ensued that brought the shaky coalition government down in ruins, with Churchill as one of the worst casualties. Gripped by a sudden attack of appendicitis, he was not able to appear in public until two days before the election, and then only in a wheelchair. He was defeated humiliatingly by more than 10,000 votes. He thus found himself, as he said, all at once “without an office, without a seat, without a party, and even without an appendix.”

In and out of office, 1922-29

In convalescence and political impotence Churchill turned to his brush and his pen. His painting never rose above the level of a gifted amateur’s, but his writing once again provided him with the financial base his independent brand of politics required. His autobiographical history of the war, The World Crisis, netted him the £20,000 with which he purchased Chartwell, henceforth his country home in Kent. When he returned to politics it was as a crusading anti-Socialist, but in 1923, when Stanley Baldwin was leading the Conservatives on a protectionist program, Churchill stood, at Leicester , as a Liberal free trader. He lost by approximately 4,000 votes. Asquith’s decision in 1924 to support a minority Labour government moved Churchill farther to the right. He stood as an “Independent Anti-Socialist” in a by-election in the Abbey division of Westminster. Although opposed by an official Conservative candidate-who defeated him by a hairbreadth of 43 votes-Churchill managed to avoid alienating the Conservative leadership and indeed won conspicuous support from many prominent figures in the party. In the general election in November 1924 he won an easy victory at Epping under the thinly disguised Conservative label of “Constitutionalist.” Baldwin, free of his flirtation with protectionism, offered Churchill, the “constitutionalist free trader,” the post of chancellor of the Exchequer. Surprised, Churchill accepted; dumbfounded, the country interpreted it as a move to absorb into the party all the right-of-centre elements of the former coalition.

In the five years that followed, Churchill’s early liberalism survived only in the form of advocacy of rigid laissez-faire economics ; for the rest he appeared, repeatedly, as the leader of the diehards. He had no natural gift for financial administration, and though the noted economist John Maynard Keynes criticized him unsparingly, most of the advice he received was orthodox and harmful. His first move was to restore the gold standard , a disastrous measure, from which flowed deflation, unemployment, and the miners’ strike that led to the general strike of 1926. Churchill offered no remedy except the cultivation of strict economy, extending even to the armed services. Churchill viewed the general strike as a quasi-revolutionary measure and was foremost in resisting a negotiated settlement. He leaped at the opportunity of editing the British Gazette, an emergency official newspaper, which he filled with bombastic and frequently inflammatory propaganda. The one relic of his earlier radicalism was his partnership with Neville Chamberlain as minister of health in the cautious expansion of social services, mainly in the provision of widows’ pensions.

In 1929, when the government fell, Churchill, who would have liked a Tory-Liberal reunion, deplored Baldwin’s decision to accept a minority Labour government. The next year an open rift developed between the two men. On Baldwin’s endorsement of a Round Table Conference with Indian leaders, Churchill resigned from the shadow cabinet and threw himself into a passionate, at times almost hysterical, campaign against the Government of India bill (1935) designed to give India dominion status.

Exclusion from office, 1929-39

Thus, when in 1931 the National Government was formed, Churchill, though a supporter, had no hand in its establishment or place in its councils. He had arrived at a point where, for all his abilities, he was distrusted by every party. He was thought to lack judgment and stability and was regarded as a guerrilla fighter impatient of discipline. He was considered a clever man who associated too much with clever men-Birkenhead, Beaverbrook, Lloyd George-and who despised the necessary humdrum associations and compromises of practical politics.

In this situation he found relief, as well as profit, in his pen, writing, in Marlborough: His Life and Times , a massive rehabilitation of his ancestor against the criticisms of the 19th-century historian Thomas Babington Macaulay . But overriding the past and transcending his worries about India was a mounting anxiety about the growing menace of Hitler ‘s Germany. Before a supine government and a doubting opposition, Churchill persistently argued the case for taking the German threat seriously and for the need to prevent the Luftwaffe from securing parity with the Royal Air Force . In this he was supported by a small but devoted personal following, in particular the gifted, curmudgeonly Oxford physics professor Frederick A. Lindemann (later Lord Cherwell), who enabled him to build up at Chartwell a private intelligence centre the information of which was often superior to that of the government. When Baldwin became prime minister in 1935, he persisted in excluding Churchill from office but gave him the exceptional privilege of membership in the secret committee on air-defense research, thus enabling him to work on some vital national problems. But Churchill had little success in his efforts to impart urgency to Baldwin’s administration. The crisis that developed when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935 found Churchill ill prepared, divided between a desire to build up the League of Nations around the concept of collective security and the fear that collective action would drive Benito Mussolini into the arms of Hitler. The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) found him convinced of the virtues of nonintervention, first as a supporter and later as a critic of Francisco Franco . Such vagaries of judgment in fact reflected the overwhelming priority he accorded to one issue-the containment of German aggressiveness. At home there was one grievous, characteristic, romantic misreading of the political and public mood, when, in Edward VIII ‘s abdication crisis of 1936, he vainly opposed Baldwin by a public championing of the King’s cause.

When Neville Chamberlain succeeded Baldwin, the gulf between the Cassandra-like Churchill and the Conservative leaders widened. Repeatedly the accuracy of Churchill’s information on Germany’s aggressive plans and progress was confirmed by events; repeatedly his warnings were ignored. Yet his handful of followers remained small; politically, Chamberlain felt secure in ignoring them. As German pressure mounted on Czechoslovakia , Churchill without success urged the government to effect a joint declaration of purpose by Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. When the Munich Agreement with Hitler was made in September 1938, sacrificing Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, Churchill laid bare its implications, insisting that it represented “a total and unmitigated defeat.” In March 1939 Churchill and his group pressed for a truly national coalition, and, at last, sentiment in the country, recognizing him as the nation’s spokesman, began to agitate for his return to office. As long as peace lasted, Chamberlain ignored all such persuasions.

Leadership during World War II

In a sense, the whole of Churchill’s previous career had been a preparation for wartime leadership. An intense patriot; a romantic believer in his country’s greatness and its historic role in Europe, the empire, and the world; a devotee of action who thrived on challenge and crisis; a student, historian, and veteran of war; a statesman who was master of the arts of politics, despite or because of long political exile; a man of iron constitution, inexhaustible energy, and total concentration, he seemed to have been nursing all his faculties so that when the moment came he could lavish them on the salvation of Britain and the values he believed Britain stood for in the world.

On September 3, 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany, Chamberlain appointed Churchill to his old post in charge of the Admiralty. The signal went out to the fleet: “Winston is back.” On September 11 Churchill received a congratulatory note from Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt and replied over the signature “Naval Person”; a memorable correspondence had begun. At once Churchill’s restless energy began to be felt throughout the administration, as his ministerial colleagues as well as his own department received the first of those pungent minutes that kept the remotest corners of British wartime government aware that their shortcomings were liable to detection and penalty. All his efforts, however, failed to energize the torpid Anglo-French entente during the so-called “phony war,” the period of stagnation in the European war before the German seizure of Norway in April 1940. The failure of the Narvik and Trondheim expeditions, dependent as they were on naval support, could not but evoke some memories of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli, so fateful for Churchill’s reputation in World War I. This time, however, it was Chamberlain who was blamed, and it was Churchill who endeavoured to defend him.

As prime minister

The German invasion of the Low Countries , on May 10, 1940, came like a hammer blow on top of the Norwegian fiasco. Chamberlain resigned. He wanted Lord Halifax , the foreign secretary, to succeed him, but Halifax wisely declined. It was obvious that Churchill alone could unite and lead the nation, since the Labour Party, for all its old distrust of Churchill’s anti-Socialism, recognized the depth of his commitment to the defeat of Hitler. A coalition government was formed that included all elements save the far left and right. It was headed by a war cabinet of five, which included at first both Chamberlain and Halifax-a wise but also magnanimous recognition of the numerical strength of Chamberlainite conservatism-and two Labour leaders, Clement Attlee and Arthur Greenwood . The appointment of Ernest Bevin , a tough trade-union leader, as minister of labour guaranteed cooperation on this vital front. Offers were made to Lloyd George, but he declined them. Churchill himself took, in addition to the leadership of the House of Commons, the Ministry of Defence. The pattern thus set was maintained throughout the war despite many changes of personnel. The cabinet became an agency of swift decision, and the government that it controlled remained representative of all groups and parties. The Prime Minister concentrated on the actual conduct of the war. He delegated freely but also probed and interfered continuously, regarding nothing as too large or too small for his attention. The main function of the chiefs of the armed services became that of containing his great dynamism, as a governor regulates a powerful machine; but, though he prodded and pressed them continuously, he never went against their collective judgment. In all this, Parliament played a vital part. If World War II was strikingly free from the domestic political intrigues of World War I, it was in part because Churchill, while he always dominated Parliament, never neglected it or took it for granted. For him, Parliament was an instrument of public persuasion on which he played like a master and from which he drew strength and comfort.

On May 13 Churchill faced the House of Commons for the first time as prime minister. He warned members of the hard road ahead-“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”-and committed himself and the nation to all-out war until victory was achieved. Behind this simplicity of aim lay an elaborate strategy to which he adhered with remarkable consistency throughout the war. Hitler’s Germany was the enemy; nothing should distract the entire British people from the task of effecting its defeat. Anyone who shared this goal, even a Communist, was an acceptable ally. The indispensable ally in this endeavour, whether formally at war or not, was the United States . The cultivation and maintenance of its support was a central principle of Churchill’s thought. Yet whether the United States became a belligerent partner or not, the war must be won without a repetition for Britain of the catastrophic bloodlettings of World War I; and Europe at the conflict’s end must be reestablished as a viable, self-determining entity, while the Commonwealth should remain as a continuing, if changing, expression of Britain’s world role. Provided these essentials were preserved, Churchill, for all his sense of history, was surprisingly willing to sacrifice any national shibboleths-of orthodox economics, of social convention, of military etiquette or tradition-on the altar of victory. Thus, within a couple of weeks of this crusading anti-Socialist’s assuming power, Parliament passed legislation placing all “persons, their services and their property at the disposal of the Crown”-granting the government in effect the most sweeping emergency powers in modern British history.

The effort was designed to match the gravity of the hour. After the Allied defeat and the evacuation of the battered British forces from Dunkirk, Churchill warned Parliament that invasion was a real risk to be met with total and confident defiance. Faced with the swift collapse of France, Churchill made repeated personal visits to the French government in an attempt to keep France in the war, culminating in the celebrated offer of Anglo-French union on June 16, 1940. When all this failed, the Battle of Britain began on July 10. Here Churchill was in his element, in the firing line-at fighter headquarters, inspecting coast defenses or antiaircraft batteries, visiting scenes of bomb damage or victims of the “blitz,” smoking his cigar, giving his V sign, or broadcasting frank reports to the nation, laced with touches of grim Churchillian humour and splashed with Churchillian rhetoric . The nation took him to its heart; he and they were one in “their finest hour.”

Other painful and more debatable decisions fell to Churchill. The French fleet was attacked to prevent its surrender intact to Hitler. A heavy commitment was made to the concentrated bombing of Germany. At the height of the invasion threat, a decision was made to reinforce British strength in the eastern Mediterranean. Forces were also sent to Greece, a costly sacrifice; the evacuation of Crete looked like another Gallipoli, and Churchill came under heavy fire in Parliament.

In these hard days the exchange of U.S. overage destroyers for British Caribbean bases and the response, by way of lend-lease , to Churchill’s boast “Give us the tools and we’ll finish the job” were especially heartening to one who believed in a “mixing-up” of the English-speaking democracies. The unspoken alliance was further cemented in August 1941 by the dramatic meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, which produced the Atlantic Charter , a statement of common principles between the United States and Britain.

Formation of the “grand alliance”

When Hitler launched his sudden attack on the Soviet Union, Churchill’s response was swift and unequivocal. In a broadcast on June 22, 1941, while refusing to “unsay” any of his earlier criticisms of Communism, he insisted that “the Russian danger…is our danger” and pledged aid to the Russian people. Henceforth, it was his policy to construct a “grand alliance” incorporating the Soviet Union and the United States. But it took until May 1942 to negotiate a 20-year Anglo-Soviet pact of mutual assistance.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) altered, in Churchill’s eyes, the whole prospect of the war. He went at once to Washington, D.C. , and, with Roosevelt, hammered out a set of Anglo-American accords: the pooling of both countries’ military and economic resources under combined boards and a combined chiefs of staff; the establishment of unity of command in all theatres of war; and agreement on the basic strategy that the defeat of Germany should have priority over the defeat of Japan. The grand alliance had now come into being. Churchill could claim to be its principal architect. Safeguarding it was the primary concern of his next three and a half years.

In protecting the alliance, the respect and affection between him and Roosevelt were of crucial importance. They alone enabled Churchill, in the face of relentless pressure from Stalin and ardent advocacy by the U.S. chiefs of staff, to secure the rejection of the “second front” in 1942, a project he regarded as premature and costly. In August 1942 Churchill himself flew to Moscow to advise Stalin of the decision and to bear the brunt of his displeasure. At home, too, he came under fire in 1942: first in January after the reverses in Malaya and the Far East and later in June when Tobruk in North Africa fell to the Germans, but on neither occasion did his critics muster serious support in Parliament. The year 1942 saw some reconstruction of the cabinet in a “leftward” direction, which was reflected in the adoption in 1943 of Lord Beveridge’s plan for comprehensive social insurance , endorsed by Churchill as a logical extension of the Liberal reforms of 1911.

Military successes and political problems

The Allied landings in North Africa necessitated a fresh meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt, this time in Casablanca in January 1943. There Churchill argued for an early, full-scale attack on “the under-belly of the Axis” but won only a grudging acquiescence from the Americans. There too was evolved the “unconditional surrender” formula of debatable wisdom. Churchill paid the price for his intensive travel (including Tripoli, Turkey, and Algeria) by an attack of pneumonia, for which, however, he allowed only the briefest of respites. In May he was in Washington again, arguing against persistent American aversion to his “under-belly” strategy; in August he was at Quebec , working out the plans for Operation Overlord, the cross-Channel assault. When he learned that the Americans were planning a large-scale invasion of Burma in 1944, his fears that their joint resources would not be adequate for a successful invasion of Normandy were revived. In November 1943 at Cairo he urged on Roosevelt priority for further Mediterranean offensives, but at Tehrān in the first “Big Three” meeting, he failed to retain Roosevelt’s adherence to a completely united Anglo-American front. Roosevelt, though he consulted in private with Stalin, refused to see Churchill alone; for all their friendship there was also an element of rivalry between the two Western leaders that Stalin skillfully exploited. On the issue of Allied offensive drives into southern Europe, Churchill was outvoted. Throughout the meetings Churchill had been unwell, and on his way home he came down again with pneumonia. Though recovery was rapid, it was mid-January 1944 before convalescence was complete. By May he was proposing to watch the D-Day assaults from a battle cruiser; only the King’s personal plea dissuaded him.

Insistence on military success did not, for Churchill, mean indifference to its political implications. After the Quebec conference in September 1944, he flew to Moscow to try to conciliate the Russians and the Poles and to get an agreed division of spheres of influence in the Balkans that would protect as much of them as possible from Communism. In Greece he used British forces to thwart a Communist takeover and at Christmas flew to Athens to effect a settlement. Much of what passed at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, including the Far East settlement, concerned only Roosevelt and Stalin, and Churchill did not interfere. He fought to save the Poles but saw clearly enough that there was no way to force the Soviets to keep their promises. Realizing this, he urged the United States to allow the Allied forces to thrust as far into eastern Europe as possible before the Russian armies should fill the vacuum left by German power, but he could not win over Roosevelt, Vice Pres. Harry S. Truman , or their generals to his views. He went to Potsdam in July in a worried mood. But in the final decisions of the conference he had no part; halfway through, when news came of his government’s defeat in parliamentary elections, he had to return to England and tender his resignation.

Electoral defeat

Already in 1944, with victory in prospect, party politics had revived, and by May 1945 all parties in the wartime coalition wanted an early election. But whereas Churchill wanted the coalition to continue at least until Japan was defeated, Labour wished to resume its independence. Churchill as the popular architect of victory seemed unbeatable, but as an election campaigner he proved to be his own worst enemy, indulging, seemingly at Beaverbrook’s urging, in extravagant prophecies of the appalling consequences of a Labour victory and identifying himself wholly with the Conservative cause. His campaign tours were a triumphal progress, but it was the war leader, not the party leader, whom the crowds cheered. Labour’s careful but sweeping program of economic and social reform was a better match for the nation’s mood than Churchill’s flamboyance. Though personally victorious at his Essex constituency of Woodford, Churchill saw his party reduced to 213 seats in a Parliament of 640.

Postwar political career

As opposition leader and world statesman

The shock of rejection by the nation fell heavily on Churchill. Indeed, though he accepted the role of leader of the parliamentary opposition, he was never wholly at home in it. The economic and social questions that dominated domestic politics were not at the centre of his interests. Nor, with his imperial vision, could he approve of what he called Labour’s policy of “scuttle,” as evidenced in the granting of independence to India and Burma (though he did not vote against the necessary legislation). But in foreign policy a broad identity of view persisted between the front benches, and this was the area to which Churchill primarily devoted himself. On March 5, 1946, at Fulton , Missouri, he enunciated, in the presence of President Truman, the two central themes of his postwar view of the world: the need for Britain and the United States to unite as guardians of the peace against the menace of Soviet Communism, which had brought down an ” iron curtain ” across the face of Europe; and with equal fervour he emerged as an advocate of European union. At Zürich, on September 19, 1946, he urged the formation of “a council of Europe” and himself attended the first assembly of the council at Strasbourg in 1949. Meanwhile, he busied himself with his great history, The Second World War, six volumes (1948-53).

The general election of February 1950 afforded Churchill an opportunity to seek again a personal mandate. He abstained from the extravagances of 1945 and campaigned with his party rather than above it.

The electoral onslaught shook Labour but left them still in office. It took what Churchill called “one more heave” to defeat them in a second election, in October 1951. Churchill again took a vigorous lead in the campaign. He pressed the government particularly hard on its handling of the crisis caused by Iran’s nationalization of British oil companies and in return had to withstand charges of warmongering. The Conservatives were returned with a narrow majority of 17, and Churchill became prime minister for the second time. He formed a government in which the more liberal Conservatives predominated, though the Liberal Party itself declined Churchill’s suggestion of office. A prominent figure in the government was R.A. Butler, the progressive-minded chancellor of the Exchequer. Anthony Eden was foreign secretary. Some notable Churchillians were included, among them Lord Cherwell, who, as paymaster general, was principal scientific adviser with special responsibilities for atomic research and development .

As prime minister again

The domestic labours and battles of his administration were far from Churchill’s main concerns. Derationing, decontrolling, rehousing, safeguarding the precarious balance of payments-these were relatively noncontroversial policies; only the return of nationalized steel and road transport to private hands aroused excitement. Critics sometimes complained of a lack of prime ministerial direction in these areas and, indeed, of a certain slackness in the reins of government. Undoubtedly Churchill was getting older and reserving more and more of his energies for what he regarded as the supreme issues, peace and war. He was convinced that Labour had allowed the transatlantic relationship to sag, and one of his first acts was to visit Washington (and also Ottawa) in January 1952 to repair the damage he felt had been done. The visit helped to check U.S. fears that the British would desert the Korean War , harmonized attitudes toward German rearmament and, distasteful though it was to Churchill, resulted in the acceptance of a U.S. naval commander in chief of the eastern Atlantic. It did not produce that sharing of secrets of atom bomb manufacture that Churchill felt had unfairly lapsed after the war. To the disappointment of many, Churchill’s advocacy of European union did not result in active British participation; his government confined itself to endorsement from the sidelines, though in 1954, faced with the collapse of the European Defense Community , Churchill and Eden came forward with a pledge to maintain British troops on the Continent for as long as necessary.

The year 1953 was in many respects a gratifying one for Churchill. It brought the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II , which drew out all his love of the historic and symbolic. He personally received two notable distinctions, the Order of the Garter and the Nobel Prize for Literature. However, his hopes for a revitalized “special relationship” with Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower during his tenure in the White House , beginning in 1953, were largely frustrated. A sudden stroke in June, which caused partial paralysis, obliged Churchill to cancel a planned Bermuda meeting at which he hoped to secure Eisenhower’s agreement to summit talks with the Russians. By October, Churchill had made a remarkable recovery and the meeting was held in December. But it did not yield results commensurate with Churchill’s hopes. The two leaders, for all their amity, were not the men they once were; their subordinates, John Foster Dulles and Anthony Eden, were antipathetic; and, above all, the role and status of each country had changed. In relation to the Far East in particular there was a persistent failure to see eye to eye. Though Churchill and Eden visited Washington, D.C., in June 1954 in hopes of securing U.S. acceptance of the Geneva Accords designed to bring an end to the war in Indochina, their success was limited. Over Egypt , however, Churchill’s conversion to an agreement permitting a phased withdrawal of British troops from the Suez base won Eisenhower’s endorsement and encouraged hopes, illusory as it subsequently appeared, of good Anglo-American cooperation in this area. In 1955, “arming to parley,” Churchill authorized the manufacture of a British hydrogen bomb while still striving for a summit conference. Age, however, robbed him of this last triumph. His powers were too visibly failing. His 80th birthday, on November 30, 1954, had been the occasion of a unique all-party ceremony of tribute and affection in Westminster Hall. But the tribute implied a pervasive assumption that he would soon retire. On April 5, 1955, his resignation took place, only a few weeks before his chosen successor, Sir Anthony Eden, announced plans for a four-power conference at Geneva.

Retirement and death

Although Churchill laid down the burdens of office amid the plaudits of the nation and the world, he remained in the House of Commons (declining a peerage) to become “father of the house” and even, in 1959, to fight and win yet another election. He also published another major work, A History of the English- Speaking Peoples, four volumes (1956-58). But his health declined, and his public appearances became rare. On April 9, 1963, he was accorded the unique distinction of having an honorary U.S. citizenship conferred on him by an act of Congress. His death at his London home in January 1965 was followed by a state funeral at which almost the whole world paid tribute. He was buried in the family grave in Bladon churchyard, Oxfordshire.


In any age and time a man of Churchill’s force and talents would have left his mark on events and society. A gifted journalist, a biographer and historian of classic proportions, an amateur painter of talent, an orator of rare power, a soldier of courage and distinction, Churchill, by any standards, was a man of rare versatility. But it was as a public figure that he excelled. His experience of office was second only to Gladstone’s, and his gifts as a parliamentarian hardly less, but it was as a wartime leader that he left his indelible imprint on the history of Britain and on the world. In this capacity, at the peak of his powers, he united in a harmonious whole his liberal convictions about social reform, his deep conservative devotion to the legacy of his nation’s history, his unshakable resistance to tyranny from the right or from the left, and his capacity to look beyond Britain to the larger Atlantic community and the ultimate unity of Europe. A romantic, he was also a realist, with an exceptional sensitivity to tactical considerations at the same time as he unswervingly adhered to his strategical objectives. A fervent patriot, he was also a citizen of the world. An indomitable fighter, he was a generous victor. Even in the transition from war to peace, a phase in which other leaders have often stumbled, he revealed, at an advanced age, a capacity to learn and to adjust that was in many respects superior to that of his younger colleagues.

Herbert G. Nicholas