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Today is the 140th anniversary of the birth of Winston Churchill. He was born at 1:30 in the morning on November 30, 1874 at Blenheim Palace to Lord and Lady Randolph Churchill. Dr. Frederic Taylor, a local physician from nearby Woodstock, handled the delivery, while Dr. William Hope from London arrived only after the baby had already been washed and dressed.

Churchill’s most remarkable birthday was November 30, 1943 when the day fell during the Eureka Conference with Stalin and Roosevelt that was held from November 28-Dececember 1 in Tehran. That evening, which he later called “a memorable occasion in my life,” Churchill hosted a dinner which lasted past two o’clock in the morning for the Soviet, American, and British delegations at the British Legation in the city. During the dinner many birthday toasts were drunk and most of the important figures made speeches, including Churchill. In his toast Stalin insulted the British prime minister accusing him of lacking friendship towards the Red Army. Realizing that he could not fail to respond to the accusations, Churchill directly refuted Stalin’s accusations when he rose to make his own remarks. As a birthday gift, Roosevelt presented Churchill with a Persian porcelain vase which was, unfortunately, broken on the return journey to Britain. It was, however, reconstructed.

After the war, Churchill’s birthday became an occasion on which he would receive thousands of birthday greetings from around the world. His last public appearance was on his 90th birthday on November 30, 1964 at his home at 28 Hyde Park Gate in London. That evening Churchill appeared at the window of his home for a few minutes to acknowledge the crowd of 200 that had gathered to offer him birthday wishes.

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