Florida Conversations: Winston Churchill in Cuba and Florida


March, 2019





6:30 PM-7:30 PM



Tampa Bay History Center

801 Old Water St.

Tampa, FL 33602

On November 20, 1895, a young British cavalry officer arrived in the port of Havana, Cuba. His name was Winston Spencer Churchill and he was ten days away from his 21st birthday. Cuba was ablaze with rebellion against centuries of Spanish rule.Winston Churchill was no ordinary 2nd lieutenant – he was the scion of a great aristocratic family and a grandson of the Duke of Marlborough.

The eighteen days Churchill would spend with Spanish forces in Cuba transformed his life. It was his first experience in combat and his first public recognition, in both North America and Britain. His accounts from the war zone were published in major newspapers and launched his career as a celebrated journalist, writer and historian. It was his true coming-of-age which set the stage for his life as a politician, statesman and iconic leader.

Fifty years later, Winston Churchill returned to Cuba and Florida as the most famous man in the world, the roaring lion who led Britain to victory in the greatest conflict the world had ever known.  In the two months he spent in Florida, he wrote one of the most important speeches of the 20th century, which defined the geo-political landscape of the world for the next forty years.

Join acclaimed historian and writer Lee Pollock as he reveals the little-known story of how Winston Churchill’s experiences in Cuba and Florida shaped the life of a towering figure of history.

Pollock is an acclaimed writer and speaker on the life of Sir Winston Churchill and a Trustee and Adviser to the Board of The International Churchill Society where he previously served as Executive Director.  His articles on Churchill have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New Criterion and other publications.

Florida Conversations is free and open to the public. It is underwritten by the Tampa Bay History Center Endowment Fund at USF with media sponsorship from WUSF Public Broadcasting. The series is co-sponsored by the USF Libraries and the Tampa Bay History Center.