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trainAt ten o’clock on the morning of September 11, 1944, Winston Churchill arrived by train at Wolfe’s Cove in Quebec where President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor had arrived shortly before. Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King came aboard the train to welcome Churchill and they then went to greet Roosevelt who was already in his motor car at the station. A fourteen year old local girl slipped through the police cordon and shook hands with the prime minister who walked with her to see the president in his car. Churchill and Roosevelt had a short chat at the car. The Governor General of Canada Lord Athlone and his wife Princess Alice were at the station to greet the world leaders, while the welcoming party also included the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, the Premier of Quebec, the Mayor of Quebec City, and Louis St. Laurent, the Minister of Justice and future Canadian prime minister. The gathered leaders and officials then drove in a procession from the station though cheering crowds to the Citadel. Churchill drove with Mackenzie King and they had a “pleasant chat” that included the upcoming presidential election in the United States. Given his own electoral defeat in less than a year, Churchill ironically told his Canadian counterpart that it would be “ingratitude itself” if Roosevelt lost. At the Citadel a composite guard of honor comprised of the three Canadian services officially received Roosevelt in Canada. During the Second Quebec Conference Churchill and Roosevelt were resident at the Citadel while the 700-room Chateau Frontenac was closed to the public and served as the official conference headquarters. A small party consisting of Roosevelt and Churchill with their wives and Mackenzie King were the luncheon guests of the vice-regal couple at 1:30 that afternoon. The table conversation was largely on personalities, with Churchill saying he was anxious not to have Madame Chiang Kai-Shek in England and arguing strongly against de Gaulle despite Mackenzie King and Princess Alice standing up for the French leader. The Canadian prime minister observed in his diary that Roosevelt seemed “tired and weary,” while Churchill looked “as fresh as a baby.” After lunch Churchill joined Roosevelt in the president’s map room for a review of the latest war news and later in the day the prime minister gave Lord and Lady Athlone and Mackenzie King a description on the latest war plans. That evening the Athlones held a vice-regal dinner at the Citadel for Churchill, Roosevelt, Mackenzie King, and other conference attendees.

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