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Brothers in Arms: Winston Churchill Receives Honorary Degree
Winston Churchill

September 6, 2013—Seventy years ago, on September 6, 1943, after the Blitz but before the Normandy invasion, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Harvard. Unable to accept the degree at Commencement that year, he attended a special ceremony opened by the Sheriff of Middlesex County, with Massachusetts Governor Leverett Saltonstall, Class of 1914, giving the welcome and Harvard President Conant conferring the degree.
Following conferral of the degree in Sanders Theatre, Churchill addressed 6,000 uniformed Harvard students in front of Memorial Church and thousands of civilians filling Tercentenary Theatre. He emphasized British-American partnership, saying, “Nothing will work soundly or for long without the combined effort of the British and American people” and told the soldiers, “I earnestly trust that when you find yourself alongside our soldiers and sailors in 1943 and 1944, you will feel that we are your working brothers in arms.”
The image above, part of a photo album compiled by the Harvard News Office, is held by the Harvard University Archives.