Roosevelt And Churchill Supply Lessons For Today

News Photo 2299
Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham with Baylor First Lady Sue Sloan.
Oct. 27, 2004

by Kim Skinner, Student Newswriter

View Jon Meacham's lecture and question-and-answer session via streaming video at

"There is no question that the relationship between the United States and Great Britain has ultimately been a source of good in the world," said Jon Meacham, author of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship and the managing editor of Newsweek.

Meacham was the guest lecturer at the third annual Ferguson-Clark Author Series Oct. 26 at Baylor University. He delivered the lecture "Franklin and Winston: Leadership Lessons for Today" to an overflow audience at the Mayborn Museum Complex on campus.

"It's incredible how Meacham interlays history over our current situation in America," said Tyler attorney Collen Clark, a Baylor alumnus who endowed the lecture series. "He pointed out that both Roosevelt and Churchill led by being honest, which made it easier for the public to trust them."

Meacham discussed the great friendship that developed between Roosevelt and Churchill during World War II. Their common cause during the war led to the men spending 113 days together and writing more than 2,000 letters of correspondence. The relationship brought about a deep and lasting bond that played an exceptional role in the history of the world.

"We see today in the relationship between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair a model of the relationship between Roosevelt and Churchill," Meacham said.

Following Meacham's lecture, the floor was opened to members of the audience for questions. When asked if the relationship between Bush and Blair would be as historic as Roosevelt and Churchill's relationship, Meacham answered that it is hard to tell.

"You can almost never tell how good or bad a president is until about 20 years have passed. No one would have bet in 1939 that Roosevelt and Churchill would have been as influential as they turned out to be," he said.

"Jon Meacham was delightful because he was personable with the audience," said Sue Sloan, wife of Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "I loved that he had interviewed people who knew Franklin and Churchill well and that he had such a great knowledge about their lives."

Clark established the lecture series in honor of his mother, Carla Sue Ferguson Garrett, a graduate of Baylor and a member of the Baylor University Libraries Board of Advisers. All of the proceeds from the lecture benefited Baylor Libraries.

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