This week marks the seventieth anniversary of one of history’s most consequential rendezvous—a secret maritime meeting between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and UK prime minister Winston Churchill. That August 1941 summit produced the short but profoundly influential Atlantic Charter. Barely 300 words long, it would shape the course of the twentieth century.
The leaders met at a time of extraordinary peril. In Western Europe, only valiant Britain had withstood the Nazi onslaught. Hitler had turned east, hoping to devastate Stalin’s Soviet Union. The United States, where isolationist sentiment ran high, clung to tenuous neutrality.
Story by Stewart M Patrick – Council on Foreign Relations