With Admiration and Respect: The Correspondence of George C. Marshall and Winston S. Churchill
During World War II, Prime Minister Churchill and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Marshall were engaged as key players in a dozen wartime conferences that built the Anglo-American alliance and shaped the strategies that led to victory. This presentation, which focuses on a series of letters exchanged between the two leaders beginning early in the war, and continuing through Marshall’s death in 1959, reveals a lasting relationship of deep mutual respect. The fascinating letters run the gamut from details of the invasion of Normandy to congratulatory messages for honors won. Remarkable archival photographs are included in this presentation.
Rachel Yarnell Thompson is the Marshall Historian at The George C. Marshall International Center, located on the site of Marshall’s museum home in Leesburg, Virginia. In 2014, the Center published Thompson’s full-length biography, Marshall: A Statesman Shaped in the Crucible of War. She lectures extensively on various aspects of Marshall’s illustrious career as soldier and statesman, giving presentations in many venues that have included the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany, the United States Embassy in Paris, state conferences for both the Wisconsin and Colorado National Guards, and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, NY.
In 2009, Thompson curated the Marshall Center’s exhibition, “With Affection and Admiration: The Correspondence of George C. Marshall and Winston S. Churchill.” Beginning in 2001, she created, designed, and for thirteen years implemented a week-long Marshall Immersion Workshop with an emphasis on the European Recovery Program for secondary level teachers from across the United States and Europe. In conjunction with seminars sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Defense, Ms. Thompson also periodically conducts meetings at the Center linked to Marshall’s mid-twentieth century leadership roles.
Before beginning her tenure at the George C. Marshall International Center, Ms. Thompson wrote educational materials to accompany several PBS (Public Broadcasting Systems) video productions, and authored teacher’s guides, essays, journal articles, and lessons for the educational outreach programs of the National Council for the Social Studies, the White House Historical Association, USA Today, Time-Life, and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. Ms. Thompson was for thirty-one years a U.S. History and American Government teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia.
A 1962 graduate of Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, she holds a master’s degree from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Although a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Ms. Thompson makes her home in Haymarket, Virginia, an outlying suburb of Washington, D.C.