Winston Churchill’s South Florida Visit in 1946 – Part 1 of 2

Winston and Clementine Churchill at Hialeah Race Track on January 30, 1946Winston and Clementine Churchill at Hialeah Race Track on January 30, 1946

As Winston Churchill flew back from Potsdam, Germany, on July 25, 1945, he was expecting to learn that his Conservative Party had retained the majority in parliament and that he would remain as Prime Minister for four more years. The general election, held on July 5, 1945, was the first one of its kind held in ten years as elections were suspended in 1939 due to the outbreak of World War II at which time England was run by a coalition government from 1940 – 1945, headed by Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.

Following the surrender of the Germans on May 7, 1945, the Allied powers began to plan for the terms of peace and how Europe will be settled moving forward. This was done as part of the Potsdam Conference, held in Potsdam, Germany, from July 17th to August 2nd of 1945. While the other leaders of the Allied powers continued to negotiate the terms of German surrender and plan out the future of Europe, Churchill had to return to England to learn of the results of the election for what he thought would be a celebration of reelection. The final count of all ballots was delayed as the votes cast by soldiers deployed out of the country were still being returned to the UK for weeks beyond election day.

The Conservative Party ran on the theme of “Let him finish the job”, while the Labour Party focused on social reform and provided a plan to return to full employment. In one of the biggest electoral swings in the country’s history, and as a surprise to many around the world, it was the Labour Party who won the general election decisively. This meant that Churchill was out as the leader of England, and the Labour Party’s candidate, Clement Attlee, was sworn in as the new Prime Minister. Shortly after making things official, Attlee left for Germany to represent England for the remainder of the Potsdam Conference.

After more than five years as a wartime Prime Minister, and following a bitterly disappointing general election, Winston Churchill was exhausted. During a routine physical conducted after the election results were announced, Winston’s doctor noted that he was in poor health and recommended he take an extended holiday to relax and recuperate. He took his doctor’s advice and chose South Florida as his destination to rest and unwind.

Preparation for Churchill’s Visit

When it was announced that Winston Churchill would be visiting South Florida in early 1946, there was plenty of excitement from both the public and media. While there have been plenty of celebrities, politicians, business magnates, and statesmen who have visited the Greater Miami area, the mythical aura of the charismatic Churchill created a high level of excitement and pride that the great British leader had selected South Florida of all the places he could have chosen for his vacation.

Prior to Churchill’s arrival, the only planned event for the world leader was a speech that President Harry Truman asked him to deliver at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the home state for the sitting president. However, during his six-week respite in South Florida, Winston Churchill would keep a remarkably busy and evolving schedule.

The Churchills made plans to stay with a family friend, Colonel Frank W. Clarke, who Winston first met when he was a member of the British Cabinet in 1923 during a visit to Canada. Clarke was the president of the Quebec-based Clarke Steamship Company. The two men met again during the Quebec Conference of 1943 at which time they developed a trust and life-long friendship. Clarke bought the residence at 5905 North Bay Road in Miami Beach in 1945, and when he heard that the Churchills were considering traveling to America, he offered to have Winston and his wife, Clementine, stay with them during their visit. The Clarke’s residence would become the central location of the Churchill’s activities in South Florida during their six-week stay.

Prior to Churchills arrival, an unknown British subject and fan of Winston, dispatched a box of his favorite cigars from Kingston, Jamaica, via a Pan American Airways, directly to the Clarke’s residence, with an inscription that read “from a humble and grateful Britisher.” The Clarke’s allowed the Churchills the master bedroom and decorated their home to provide every convenience and comfort that they could want during their stay. Mrs. Clarke ensured that fresh flowers were delivered and placed around the house. Frank cleared out his study and set it up to ensure Winston had a comfortable and productive place to work writing his memoir and speeches when he felt inspired.

During his stay, a business from Texas, Uncle Johnny Mills, a feed processor, sent a live turkey to Miami Beach as “a gesture of Texas hospitality.” The bird was judged a grand champion broad-breasted turkey at the Houston Livestock Exposition prior to its delivery to Miami Beach. The executives at the company assumed that the statesman had not had a substantive turkey dinner during the war years and felt he would enjoy an award-winning bird. However, the Texans did not consider Winston’s fondness for birds. Rather than slaughter and cook the Turkey, Winston gave it a name, considered it a pet, and became quite fond of the fowl. Needless to say, the gift was appreciated but not in the manner in which the folks at Uncle Johnny Mills had intended.

Winston and Clementine Churchill seated next to their host, Colonel Frank Clarke, during the press conference on January 16, 1946

Figure 1: Winston and Clementine Churchill seated next to their host, Colonel Frank Clarke, during the press conference on January 16, 1946

Churchills Arrival in South Florida

The British leader’s trip began aboard the Queen Elizabeth on January 9, 1946. Traveling with the Churchills were several hundred Canadian troops, some who were returning from war after more than five years of military service in Europe. During the journey overseas, Churchill seized the opportunity to address the troops with the following remarks:

“The good cause has not been overthrown. Tyrants have been hurled from their place of power… Do not be anxious about the future! Be vigilant, be strong, be clear-sighted but do not be worried. Our future is in our hands. Our lives are what we choose to make them.”

The Churchill party included Winston, his wife, his secretary, and Sgt. C.E. Williams of Scotland Yard who provided security for the former prime minister. Colonel Clarke traveled to New York to meet the Churchill party when they arrived by ship during the first part of the week of January 14th, to accompany them back to Miami by train.

The party finally arrived in Miami, at an undisclosed train stop, on Wednesday, January 16th. After a long journey that began a week earlier, Winston still mustered enough energy to host a press conference in the backyard of the Clarke’s residence on Miami Beach.

The conference was attended by a crew of videographers who would film a News Reel short to document the statesman’s arrival to Miami Beach, and after the sound men setup several straight back lawn chairs, a producer asked Colonel Clarke to instruct Mr. Churchill and Clementine to sit in the chairs. Clarke politely said, “I never order my guests around, and they certainly won’t sit in these chairs.” As quickly as Clarke aired his objection, Winston came out of the house and sat in one of the seats that Clarke declared unfit for his guest. That is when the photographers proceeded to snap pictures and light up the lawn with flash bulbs. So much for any pomp and circumstance for Churchills first public appearance during his South Florida visit, at least as it pertained to his seating arrangements.

As Walter Locke of the Miami News observed as the press conference got underway:

“A visiting statesman walks three tight ropes at once. He must say nothing that can be taken up and thrown back at him from home. He must say nothing to offend the host country’s sensibilities. He must find pleasant ways to toss reporter’s questions on forbidden topics back at them.”

As the grizzled and experienced statesman that he was, Winston navigated those tight ropes masterfully. Another Miami Daily News reporter, James A. Hodges, described Churchill’s disposition as “he was in good humor and answered reporters’ questions quietly and distinctly.” At the age of 71, the long journey by ship and then train must have been exhausting for the former Prime Minister. During the briefing, as Hodges reported, Winston “wore an open-neck shirt and puffed at a cigar … Churchill had removed his shoes since his arrival and wore slippers with zipper tops.” While he sat comfortably on his lawn chair, Winston faced “more than a score of reporters and photographers.”

Churchill touched on what he described as “a definite and permanent movement toward world collectivism.” Without elaborating too deeply on the concern, he did state “what we have to be careful of is to see that liberty and enterprise are not stifled by this movement.” In explaining his point of view on England’s request for $4 billion of financial assistance, he said “we suffered far more than any other country during the war. Some other countries were overrun, but they were not fighting. We were fighting and using up our credit. We borrowed all we could and now we must use all we can get.”

When the press conference ended, the Churchills were ready to relax and visit with their hosts. Over the course of the his six-week stay in South Florida, Winston enjoyed the spoils of being the most recognizable celebrity tourist in South Florida during the winter of 1946.


Entrance to Parrot Jungle in 1940s

Figure 2: Entrance to Parrot Jungle in 1940s

Fondness of Birds Leads Winston to Parrot Jungle

In an article published on the website of the International Churchill Society, Lady Soames, Winston’s daughter, cleared up an urban legend that her father owned a foul-mouthed McCaw named Charlie. She stated that he never owned a McCaw, but did own an African Grey Parrot named Polly, but sold the bird prior to becoming Prime Minister, despite becoming close to the family pet.

It may have been Winston’s fondness for birds that led him to Parrott Jungle on his first full day in South Florida. Parrott Jungle was a world-famous tourist attraction located in Pinecrest Gardens, Florida, and was where Churchill spent the afternoon of Thursday, January 17th. Frank Clarke drove the Churchills down to Parrot Jungle in his convertible on a cool and overcast South Florida winter afternoon.

According to reports, there were roughly 50 other ‘tourists’ at Parrot Jungle when the famous statesman strolled into the park, many of whom took pictures of Churchill as he smiled and waved for their cameras. He was wearing a soft felt hat and a full-length mackintosh raincoat. At one point during his visit, a white cockatoo was perched on Churchill’s shoulder and kissed him several times on the cheek, something the former prime minister enjoyed immensely. As reported by the Miami Herald, when the party departed Parrot Jungle, Winston gave the owner, Francis Scherr, a Canadian-made cigar from his leather case, vowing to return to the venue “to paint some of the bright feathered birds.”

Earlier in the day, Clementine went shopping on Lincoln Road while Winston met with doctors for a follow-up medical checkup. He was seen by Dr. Robert M. Harris, former lieutenant commander in the Navy, who concluded that Churchill suffered no ill effects from the 4,500-mile journey from England to South Florida.

Later in the afternoon, Winston met with Lt. General Walter Bedell Smith, the former chief of staff for General Dwight D. Eisenhower, for lunch at the Clarke residence on Miami Beach. The Clarke’s hosted many wartime dignitaries for meals during the Churchill’s six-week visit, some of them strictly social, but others as working meals while Winston prepared his memoirs by recounting hundreds of wartime reminiscences.

Painting of Di Lido Island and Winston Churchill signing autographs for children on San Marino Island on January 20, 1946

Figure 3: Painting of Di Lido Island and Winston Churchill signing autographs for children on San Marino Island on January 20, 1946

Churchill Paints Vista of Di Lido Island

One of Churchills favorite pastimes was painting landscapes and he intended to spend part of his visit in South Florida identifying scenes to capture on canvas during his lengthy visit. On Friday, January 18th, Winston began touring the Greater Miami area by automobile, driven by Col. Frank Clarke, and accompanied by his Scotland Yard security man, to find a quiet spot that offered a tranquil and beautiful vista to paint.

Clarke and Churchill traveled in a green convertible sedan in search of the perfect scenery to replicate on canvas. Churchill found his inspiration along the east side of San Marino Island, one of a chain of islands along the Venetian Causeway. He found a vacant lot on the northern point of Di Lido Island that would become the subject of his painting. He found a comfortable perch on San Marino Island to setup his easel that would support his two-and-a-half-foot wide canvas.

Ironically, the owner of the vacant lot was the president of a company called Churchill Inc., which is in the coffee roasting business. The lot was purchased a week prior to Winston Churchill’s arrival to South Florida by J.S. Garvett who named his coffee company for the British leader. Garvett became a fan of Churchill while reading his books and stories as a young man. He founded his company in 1936, shortly after relocating from Philadelphia to Miami, to start his coffee roasting company.

While Churchill spent the entire weekend painting on San Marino Island, Clementine was joined by Mrs. E.A. Walford, wife of a former Canadian adjutant general, to shop on Lincoln Road. After the women finished shopping, they joined the Clarkes at the Surf Club for a leisurely afternoon in their cabana on the beach.

Aerial of the Surf Club in Surfside in the 1930s

Figure 4: Aerial of the Surf Club in Surfside in the 1930s

The Surf Club

The Surf Club, which was designed by Russell Pancoast and opened in 1930 at 9011 Collins Avenue in Surfside, became one of the most popular clubs in South Florida to see and be seen by the mid-1940s. Col. Frank Clarke understood the prestige of being affiliated with the club when he purchased a membership which provided access to a Cabana on the beach. It was during the Churchill’s visit that he made particularly good use of being a part of the Surf Club community.

The Clarkes and Churchills were frequent guests at the Surf Club, and in Clarke’s cabana, during their six-week stay in South Florida. Winston used his time at the club to relax, play highly competitive games of gin rummy with the Clarkes, swim, and of course, imbibe in his favorite alcoholic beverages.

An article in the Miami Herald published on Wednesday, January 23, 1946, with the headline of “Churchill Takes First Dip: Prowess Amazes Onlookers” described his time at the Surf Club on the prior Tuesday:

“Winston Churchill at 71 can swim as well as he ever could. The former British prime minister took his first dip in the Florida surf Tuesday and found it much to his liking. After 15 minutes of brisk swimming, during which he amazed onlookers with his prowess, Churchill said he was ready for a meal. The famed Briton drank three Scotch and sodas before lunch and then selected his meal from the buffet. After lunch, the waiter asked him if he would like some coffee. Churchill replied: ‘just look in my cabana and bring me a glass of that brandy.’ The delighted waiter complied and afterward said Churchill was a ‘great guy’.”

The Churchills and Clarkes attended formal dinners, fashion shows, balls, and met plenty of the power brokers of Greater Miami. Winston was introduced to James Cox, editor of the Miami Daily News, John S. Knight, publisher of the Miami Herald, and Dr. Bowman F. Ashe, the long-time president of the University of Miami, who, during one of his chance encounters with Churchill in the restaurant of the Surf Club, floated the idea of conferring an honorary degree to Winston from the University of Miami.

Winston Churchill painting at Surf Club in 1946

Figure 5: Winston Churchill painting at Surf Club in 1946

One of the signature events at the Surf Club during Churchill’s visit was the Rose Ball Gala held on Saturday, January 26th. The Churchills were special guests of the Clarkes, and considering that the rose is the national flower of England, the centerpiece of the table featured miniature British flags surrounded by roses to commemorate the special guests.

In addition to all of the contacts made and social events attended, probably the most memorable thing from his frequent appearances at the Surf Club was a painting he made of the beautiful Surfside beach from the Clarke’s seaside cabana. Although the Surf Club is now part of a Four Season’s complex, the clubhouse has been preserved and is host to Lido, a highly rated fine dining restaurant in the center of the historic structure. It is rumored that Churchill’s seascape painting from the Clarke’s Surf Club cabana hangs somewhere on the grounds of this restored property.

Aerial of Hypoluxo Island along with Casa Alva in the 1930s

Figure 6: Aerial of Hypoluxo Island along with Casa Alva in the 1930s

Churchill Visits Relative on Hypoluxo Island

After a week of enjoying the Greater Miami area, the Churchills took an hour drive north toward Lantana to visit a distant family member who lived in a palatial estate on Hypoluxo Island on Thursday, January 24th. Consuelo Balsan was a great grandchild of Cornelius Vanderbilt who married Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, who was the 9th Duke of Marlborough and cousin to Winston Churchill. Although the marriage did not last, with the couple getting divorced in 1926, Winston and Clementine remained in contact with Consuelo and arranged to meet with her when they arrived in South Florida.

Consuelo later married French balloonist Colonel Jacques Balsan with whom she purchased property exclusive property for $75,000 in 1934. The 50-acre tract of land included the southern end of Hypoluxo Island, along with three nearby islands, which included a residence that they expanded into sprawling showplace. The structure was renovated into a 26,000 square foot mansion and was named Casa Alva in honor of Consuelo’s mother.

The Churchills made at least two trips, once on January 24th, and then a second time on Wednesday, February 20th, to stay the weekend with Consuelo and Louis Jacques Balsan. During the second trip, the Churchills daughter, Sarah Oliver, joined them for the long weekend visit. The family returned to the Clarke residence on Miami Beach the following Monday, February 25th.

Winston Churchill and General Hap Arnold walking into Hialeah Race Track on January 30, 1946

Figure 7: Winston Churchill and General Hap Arnold walking into Hialeah Race Track on January 30, 1946

An Afternoon at Hialeah Race Track

Another one of the iconic venues that Churchill visited during his time in South Florida was the Hialeah Race Track. When the prime minister arrived at the track on Wednesday, January 30th, shortly before the start of the fourth race, he was greeted by photographers, reporters, and a few fans. As he exited his automobile at the main clubhouse entrance, pictures were taken, and fans applauded. Wearing a brown suit and a gray hat, while puffing on his customary cigar, Churchill smiled and waved his hat in appreciation for their adoration.

The Churchills were joined by the Clarkes and General Henry “Hap” Arnold who was one of Churchill’s special guests for the day at the racetrack. Hap Arnold was a pioneer aviator who was trained by the Wright brothers in 1911 to become one of the earliest military pilots. He held the ranks of General of the Army, Chief of the Army Air Corps (1938 – 1941), commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, and later General of the Air Force. He was the only United States Air Force general to hold a five-star rank, and the only officer to hold a five-star rank in two different branches of U.S. military service. Arnold retired from the service on June 30, 1946, after earning the most honors a nation can give a world military leader of his stature, including three Distinguished Service crosses, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and decorations from Morocco, Brazil, former Yugoslavia, Peru, France, Mexico, and Great Britain.

Considering that Miami Beach was an important training ground for the Army Air Corp during World War II, it was poetic that the head of the Air Corp would enjoy a relaxing day at the track in South Florida as the guest of one of the most renowned world leaders who was instrumental in victory over the Axis powers during the war. South Florida played a key role in preparing the flyers of World War II for the Allies, including the Royal Air Force, to help win the war.

As Churchill’s party made their way to their seats on the third tier of the racetrack stands, applause rippled throughout the crowd watching the prime minister’s every step. Churchill sat in the box of the owner of Hialeah Race Track, John C. Clark, during his historic visit to the venue. When the crowd started chanting “stand-up”, Churchill stood and gave his customary V-sign to the enthusiastic crowd.

While no one from his party won in the fourth race, Churchill picked a winner in the next contest. He placed a bet on Cedar Creek, the son of the English Derby Winner, Bahram. Once the cry of “they’re off” was heard, Winston Churchill was just another race fan hoping his horse and jockey found their way into the winner’s circle. He watched America’s most famous jockey, Eddie Arcaro, guide Cedar Creek to easy triumph providing the prime minister with winnings on an undisclosed amount.

Although his visit was short in duration, Churchill expressed how impressed he was with the track and grounds. While his host, wife and daughter would return to the venue later during the family’s six-week visit, Winston Churchill’s one and only trip to Hialeah Race Track was memorable for both the British leader and those who attended that day.

Honorary Degree Announced

As the month of January ended in 1946, the announcement was made by University of Miami President, Dr. Bowman F. Ashe, that Winston Churchill had agreed to accept an honorary degree from the school. Furthermore, Ashe stated that a special convocation was being planned but would not take place in Coral Gables as the largest buildings on campus were not big enough to accommodate the size crowd expected for the ceremony. The event was ultimately scheduled for February 26 to take place at the Orange Bowl, allowing the university to invite up to 30,000 people to witness the historic event.

Churchill decided to accept the honorary degree from the University of Miami partly because his six-week vacation was being spent in the South Florida community, but mostly because many men of the Royal Air Force received wartime training at the University of Miami. During his speech on February 26th, he would share his appreciation for the impact the university had on the Royal Air Force cadets who trained in Coral Gables and throughout Florida during the war. The announcement of the honorary degree took place during a luncheon hosted at the Surf Club on January 31st.

The McAllister Hotel in 1930 as seen from Bayfront Park

Figure 8: The McAllister Hotel in 1930 as seen from Bayfront Park

President Truman Plans Trip to Miami

Given that Harry Truman was scheduled to receive an honorary degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, on February 11th, media speculation began that the president may extend his trip to Florida to schedule a face-to-face meeting with Churchill. It was reported that, if there were a meeting, it would take place on the presidential yacht, the Williamsburg, as part of a fishing trip off the South Florida coast.

Speculation turned to confirmation on Sunday, February 3rd, when it was reported that fifty-eight rooms were reserved at the McAllister Hotel by Truman’s office for a two-week stay during what was being termed as a presidential vacation in Miami. The McAllister would serve as the presidential headquarters for his staff during Truman’s two-week vacation at sea. Complicating matters was that the McAllister had reopened shortly before the reservation was booked and the hotel was still in the process of being renovated after its wartime use by the navy. It was also reported that Truman’s presidential secretary, Matthew Connelly, who would fly to Miami with the president, would conduct business out of offices in the Alfred I. Du Pont building while Truman was at sea on the presidential yacht.

On Wednesday, February 6th, the 245-foot offshore cruising yacht, the Williamsburg, pulled into Pier 2 at the Port of Miami where it waited for the president to arrive several days later. The dock and yacht were heavily guarded by both the navy and secret service. There were three checkpoints at which any visitor had to cross before reaching the heavily protected presidential yacht, and no one without the strictest clearance was allowed to board the yacht.

Winston Churchill exiting Hotel Nacional in Havana Cuba in February of 1946

Figure 9: Winston Churchill exiting Hotel Nacional in Havana Cuba in February of 1946

Week Long Visit to Cuba

Prior to his arrival in America, Churchill had an exchange of letters with Harry Truman when the president offered to provide Winston with a plane at his disposal to go anywhere he wanted when during his visit to the states. The British leader made good use of that offer when he planned a week-long trip to Cuba at the beginning of February. The president of Cuba, Ramon Grau San Martin, invited the statesman to the Caribbean island to be the guests of the Cuban government.

On Friday, February 1st, Winston and Clementine, accompanied by Col Frank Clarke, boarded a converted flying fortress, the Mary Winn II, which was piloted by Captain R.E. Fitzhue, a 22-year-old veteran of 30 missions over Germany and German-held territory. After the 75-minute flight concluded at Rancho Boyeros Airport, Winston deboarded the aircraft to be greeted by 2,000 cheering Cubans at the airport.

Winston Churchill arriving in Cuba on February 3, 1946

Figure 10: Winston Churchill arriving in Cuba on February 3, 1946

Within a matter of minutes of stepping off the plane, Churchill was handed a cut glass goblet of frozen daiquiri, Cuba’s traditional hospitality drink, by Prime Minister Carlos Prio Socarras. As Jeanne Bellamy of the Miami Hearld wrote, “It was a hot day, and the wartime prime minister of the British Empire was not about to spurn anyone’s national tradition. He smiled his approval as he put it (the frozen daiquiri), away.” After leaving the airport, Winston was taken to the palace where he met informally with the Cuban President, Ramon Grau San Martin.

The next evening, on Saturday, February 2nd, the Churchills were honored with a reception given by the Cuban Minister of State at the Havana Yacht Club. There were 400 invited guests, but many more who showed up to get a glimpse of the statesman as he arrived and through the windows during the event.

Winston and Clementine were joined by their daughter, Sarah Churchill Oliver, who arrived a few days later on Monday, February 4th, after a long journey from London to New York, and through Miami, where she stayed the Sunday night before leaving for Havana on Monday late afternoon. It was reported that Sarah spent the early part of Monday afternoon visiting Flagler Street shops. The itinerary for the rest of the week included touring the country, joining his wife and daughter for shopping, and visiting with the British Minister James L. Dodds.

On his last night in Havana, Thursday, Winston delivered a 20-minute speech to 350 members of the British colony at a reception hosted at the offices of Minister Dodds, who was the legate for Britain in Havana. During his brief talk, Churchill spoke of the Cuban-British war effort and of the importance of relations between the two countries. At the end of his remarks, the statesman received three cheers from his guests who ended the cheer singing “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

Front Page of the Miami Daily News on February 8, 1946

Figure 11: Front Page of the Miami Daily News on February 8, 1946

On the day the Churchills left Cuba to return to Miami, on Friday, February 8th, there was a bomb blast that occurred across town on the fourth floor of the Finance Ministry building. The explosion was targeted to kill Florentino Martinez, Cuba’s Finance Minister, who was on a different floor from when the explosion was detonated in a restroom. Although the Churchill’s visit and plans to leave the island were not impacted, four Cuban citizens lost their life as a result of the detonation. Winston recalled seeing the smoke from the fire caused by the explosion as he was driven to the airport.

On the same day, Winston got word that Harry Truman cancelled his vacation plans to join him in Florida. There were several domestic crises that he needed to manage from Washington D.C., so he had to cancel both the Rollins College honorary degree ceremony, as well as his fishing vacation and meetings with Churchill. After the Churchills returned to Miami, Winston and Truman arranged to meet in Washington DC to discuss the outline of what would later be referred to as Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech, which would be delivered at Westminster College in Missouri a few weeks later.

Last Three Weeks of Churchill’s Visit

When Winston Churchill returned from Cuba, he had three weeks left of his six-week vacation in South Florida. During his final few weeks in the Sunshine State, the British statesman met with President Truman in Washington DC, posed for an oil portrait by artist Douglas Chandor, worked on his wartime memoir, and finished writing the speech he would deliver at Westminster College.

In addition, Winston Churchill received his honorary degree in the fabled Orange Bowl on February 26th. There were many great sports, musical, social, and political events that took place in this iconic stadium, and Churchill’s convocation ceremony and speech rank highly as one of the most historic and memorable.

Stay tuned for the second part of Winston Churchill’s Visit to South Florida in 1946, which will be published soon.

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  • Cover: Winston and Clementine Churchill at Hialeah Race Track on January 30, 1946. Courtesy of Miami Herald.
  • Figure 1: Winston and Clementine Churchill seated next to their host, Colonel Frank Clarke, during the press conference on January 16, 1946. Courtesy of Miami Daily News.
  • Figure 2: Entrance to Parrot Jungle in 1940s. Courtesy of Jungle Island.
  • Figure 3: Painting of Di Lido Island and Winston Churchill signing autographs for children on San Marino Island on January 20, 1946. Courtesy of Alamy and Miami Daily News.
  • Figure 4: Aerial of the Surf Club in Surfside in the 1930s. Courtesy of FIU.
  • Figure 5: Winston Churchill painting at Surf Club in 1946. Courtesy of Florida State Archives.
  • Figure 6: Aerial of Hypoluxo Island along with Casa Alva in the 1930s. Courtesy of the Coastal Star.
  • Figure 7: Winston Churchill and General Hap Arnold walking into Hialeah Race Track on January 30, 1946. Courtesy of Florida State Archives.
  • Figure 8: The McAllister Hotel in 1930 as seen from Bayfront Park. Courtesy of Florida State Archives.
  • Figure 10: Winston Churchill arriving in Cuba on February 3, 1946. Courtesy of Miami Daily News.
  • Figure 11: Front Page of the Miami Daily News on February 8, 1946. Courtesy of Miami Daily News.