In the Darkest Days of World War II, Winston Churchill’s Visit to the White House Brought Hope to Washington
Never has overstaying one’s welcome been so important
The very hour that the United States entered World War II, Winston Churchill decided to invite himself to Washington, D.C.
On December 8, 1941, even as Franklin D. Roosevelt was delivering his “day of infamy” speech to Congress, the British prime minister resolved to sail across the Atlantic to fortify his nation’s most important alliance. “We could review the whole war plan in light of reality and new facts,” an eager Winston Churchill wrote to Roosevelt. After expressing concern about Churchill’s safety in the U-boat-filled ocean—a concern the prime minister waved off—FDR assented. “Delighted to have you here at the White House,” the president replied.
Two weeks after Pearl Harbor, Churchill arrived in Washington for a three-week stay at the White House. He celebrated Christmas 1941 with FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt. As December became January—75 years ago this month—the president and prime minister bonded over late-night drinking sessions that annoyed the First Lady, taxed White House staff and cemented the partnership that won the world war.
On the morning of December 22, the day of Churchill’s arrival, the chief White House butler, Alonzo Fields, walked into an argument between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. “You should have told me!” Eleanor said, according to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book No Ordinary Time. FDR had just told her that Churchill was arriving that night to stay for “a few days.”
Boxer Indemnity Scholarship
|Boxer Indemnity Scholarship|
The Boxer Indemnity Scholarship (Chinese: 庚子賠款獎學金; literally: '[Year] Gengzi Indemnity Scholarship'), funded by the Boxer Indemnity, was a scholarship program for Chinese students to be educated in the United States. In 1908, the U.S Congress passed a bill to return to China the excess of Boxer Indemnity, amounting to over 17 million dollars. Despite the fierce controversies over returning the excess payment, President Theodore Roosevelt's administration decided to establish the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship Program to educate young Chinese generation. President Roosevelt recognized this program as a chance for “American-directed reform in China”  that could maximize U.S's profit by improving the U.S- China relations, bridging China with American culture, and promoting U.S's international image. Instead of mimicking the European Imperialism and use military means to reap short-term financial gain, Roosevelt established the program to insure peace and trade in China in the "most satisfactory and subtle of all ways", while helping United States gain respect and take its leadership position in the world.
Since its inception, the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship Program has been called "the most important scheme for educating Chinese students in America and arguably the most consequential and successful in the entire foreign-study movement of twentieth century China."