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New Exhibit at National Churchill Museum Spotlights the Close Relationship Between 'Political Soul Mates' Reagan and Thatcher, Just in Time for President's Day

Museum's executive director and internationally recognized Churchill historian Dr. Rob Havers available for commentary to journalists and educators

FULTON, Mo., Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The special relationship between world leaders President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is explored in a new exhibit at the National Churchill Museum on the campus of Westminster College. The exhibit, which opened in January, will be open on President's Day, Feb. 17, 2014 and runs through March 9.

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"Through the use of pictures and artifacts associated with these great leaders, we are able to trace the influences that developed their character and personalities, their early political lives, their partnership on domestic and foreign issues and their legacy," says Dr. Rob Havers, Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum, and internationally known Churchill scholar.

Artifacts on display include photos, an American literature college essay written by Reagan, Reagan's honorary degree diploma from Westminster, gifts exchanged between their families, cowboy boots with the Presidential seal, a jelly bean clock, a satire piece with Reagan as Rhett Butler and Thatcher as Scarlett O'Hara, caricature teapots of Reagan and Thatcher, and more.

The exhibit was inspired by the research and newly published book, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan: A Very Political Special Relationship, by Dr. James Cooper, Senior Lecturer of History at Oxford Brookes University. He was the Fulbright Robertson Visiting Professor in British History at Westminster in 2012-2013.

Cooper draws the comparison that both world leaders emerged in the political arena as outsiders in their political parties at times of decline in their country's economies and a decline in world standing. Both espoused policies of less government intrusion, a conservative platform of lower taxes and balanced budgets and a firmer stance toward the Soviet Union.

The Museum, located on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, MO, is the only North American institution devoted to immortalizing the life and work of Winston Churchill. The heart of the Museum is the magnificent 17th Century Christopher Wren Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, which was gutted during World War II and brought stone by stone from England to Westminster and restored on campus in 1969. 

Beneath the Church is a state-of-the-art Museum that combines interactive technology to tell Churchill's story. MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews, who was present at the Museum's opening in 2006, said its ability to bring history to life in a dynamic, stimulating fashion was incredible and that it rivaled that of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

Adjacent to the Museum stands a sculpture by Edwina Sandys, Churchill's granddaughter entitled "Breakthrough." Constructed from sections of the Berlin Wall, it commemorates the demise of the "Iron Curtain" that Sir Winston had predicted. Visitors may also enjoy the historic gymnasium where Churchill delivered his world famous "Iron Curtain Speech" in 1946.

The museum offers on-site and virtual education programs for students and teachers, including extensive background materials on the website as well as an annual speech contest for middle school students.

The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission prices are Adults-$7.50, Seniors, AAA and AARP-$6.50, College Students and Youth (12-18)-$5.50, Children (6-11)-$4.50, and Children (5 and under)-free. For more information, visit www.nationalchurchillmuseum.orgFacebook/ChurchillMuseum and Twitter @ChurchillMuseum

Note: Dr. Rob Havers is available to provide commentary on current events as a Churchill scholar.

Read more news from National Churchill Museum.

Rob Crouse
573-592-5019 or 573-291-9399

Allison Collinger


SOURCE National Churchill Museum

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