On This Day, Oct. 26, 1951 – Winston Churchill Returns to Power


1951 – Winston Churchill again became the prime minister of Great Britain.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician and author, best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War.

After becoming an MP, Churchill began a lucrative speaking tour, where he could command a high price for his speeches.

In 1904, he made a dramatic shift, leaving the Conservative Party and joining the Liberal Party. He was later often called a ‘class traitor’ by some Conservative colleagues. Churchill disagreed with an increasing amount of Conservative policies, including tariff protection. Churchill also had more empathy for improving the lot of the working class and helping the poor.

Churchill proved an adept war leader. His speeches became famous and proved an important rallying cry for a country which stood alone through 1940 and 1941.

“We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”

Speech in the House of Commons, June 4,1940

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.”

Speech in the House of Commons, June 18, 1940

After winning the Second World War, Churchill was shocked to lose the 1945 general election to a resurgent Labour party. He was leader of the opposition from 1945-51.

But, under the Conservatives, he returned to power in the 1950 election – accepting much of the post war consensus and the end of the British Empire. Churchill served as PM from 1951-55 before retiring from politics.

1774 – The First Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia.

1825 – The Erie Canal opened in upstate New York. The 363-mile canal connected Lake Erie and the Hudson River at a cost of $7,602,000.hc

1854 – Charles William Post was born. He was the inventor of “Grape Nuts,” “Postum” and “Post Toasties.”

1881 – The “Gunfight at the OK Corral” took place in Tombstone, AZ. The fight was between Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holiday and the Ike Clanton Gang.

1905 – Norway gained independence from Sweden.

1942 – The Navy ship Hornet was sunk in the Battle of Santa Cruz during World War II.

1944 – During World War II, the Battle of Leyte Gulf ended. The battle was won by American forces and brought the end of the Pacific phase of World War II into sight.

1949President Harry Truman raised the minimum wage from 40 to 75 cents an hour.

1955 – New York City’s “The Village Voice” was first published.

1958 – Pan American Airways flew its first Boeing 707 jetliner from New York City to Paris.

1962 – The Soviet Union made an offer to end the Cuban Missile Crisis by taking their missile bases out of Cuba if the U.S. agreed to not invade Cuba and would remove Jupiter missiles in Turkey.

1970 – “Doonesbury,” the comic strip by Gary Trudeau, premiered in 28 newspapers across the U.S.

1972National security adviser Henry Kissinger declared, “Peace is at hand” in Vietnam.

1975 – Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to officially visit to the United States.

1977 – The experimental space shuttle Enterprise successfully landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

1980 – Israeli President Yitzhak Navon became the first Israeli head of state to visit Egypt.

1984 – “Baby Fae” was given the heart of baboon after being born with a severe heart defect. She lived for 21 days with the animal heart.

1988 – Roussel Uclaf, a French pharmaceutical company, announced it was halting the worldwide distribution of RU-486. The pill is used to induce abortions. The French government made the company reverse itself two days later.

1988 – Two whales were freed by Soviet and American icebreakers. The whales had been trapped for nearly 3 weeks in an Arctic ice pack.

1990 – The State Department issued a warning that terrorists could be planning an attack on a passenger ship or aircraft.

1991 – Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry arrived at a federal correctional institution in Petersburg, VA, to begin serving a six-month sentence for cocaine possession.

1992 – General Motors Corp. Chairman Robert Stempel resigned after the company recorded its highest losses in history.

1993 – Deborah Gore Dean was convicted of 12 felony counts of defrauding the U.S. government and lying to the U.S. Congress. Dean was a central figure in the Reagan-era HUD scandal.

1994 – Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali of Jordan signed a peace treaty.

2002 – Russian authorities pumped a gas into a theater where separatist rebels held over 800 hostages. The gas killed 116 hostages and all 50 hostage-takers were killed by the gas or gunshot wounds.


Source: Biographyonline.net; On-This-Day.com