An iron curtain has descended across the continent.
The speech in which Winston Churchill used those words and gave the phrase “iron curtain” to the 20th century Cold War era was given in Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946. A few of the sentences from the speech, including the words above and Sir Winston’s enunciation of the “capitals of the ancient states” behind the curtain can be accessed in Churchill’s voice from the Library of Congress. This audio node is included in a major exhibition by the LOC and Annenberg Foundation titled Churchill and the Great Republic. The exhibition networks photographs, texts, sounds and commentary into a distinguished digital biography of Churchill. (For a look at some realities of the Cold War that the Iron Curtain brought on: The Berlin Airlift.)
The Internet has many superb Churchillian nodes, which when interlinked form a web of Sir Winston’s rich weave into the fabric of 20th century history and thought. The grand appreciation for him is expressed in a BBC archived exhibit of his state funeral. To catch something of the vigor and courage of this great man, the Churchill Center’s page of quotations is a good place to start. For example, Churchill told the United States Congress in 1941:
“I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up in my father’s house to believe in democracy. ‘Trust the people’ that was his message….I owe my advancement entirely to the House of Commons, whose servant I am. In my country, as in yours, public men are proud to be the servants of the State and would be ashamed to be its masters. Therefore I have been in full harmony all my life with the tides which have flowed on both sides of the Atlantic against privilege and monopoly….By the way, I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way around, I might have got here on my own!”