The Winston Churchill who died on this day in 1965 was not the Winston Churchill who served on The Nation’s editorial board back in 1920; that would be the American novelist Winston Churchill, to whom the future British Prime Minister wrote in 1899: ”Mr. Winston Churchill presents his compliments to Mr. Winston Churchill, and begs to draw his attention to a matter which concerns them both.” That matter was the confusion over their identical names. Anyway, when former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill died on this day in 1965, The Nation published an editorial titled “Vision of Invincibility” (February 8, 1965):

Churchill’s greatness consisted of one thing—he was a patriot in the old, now suspect, ringing overtones of the word. In the past, some of his own words and deeds contributed to the uneasiness with which we today regard patriotism, but in 1940 it was the one weapon England had and Churchill forged it. Out of a cigar, the V sign, a particular way of pronouncing “Nazi” and three or four phrases, he created the vision of invincibility. It was a work of superb imagination. Not for his books, not for his political views, but for the image of himself in a tin hat, Churchill lays claim to being one of the superlative artists of the century.

January 24, 1965

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