Knoxville, TN – In a noon lecture on Friday, January 24, historian Rachel Yarnell Thompson will present “With Affection and Admiration: The Letters of George C. Marshall and Winston S. Chuchill,” a discussion focusing on the friendships of these two great twentieth-century leaders, a relationship forged in the crucible of world war and one that revealed deep mutual respect, despite personalities that seemed polar opposites.

During World War II, Prime Minister Churchill and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Marshall were engaged as key players in a dozen wartime conferences that built the Anglo-American alliance and shaped the strategies that led to victory. The presentation focuses on a series of letters exchanged between the two leaders beginning early in the war, and continuing through Marshall’s death in 1959. The fascinating letters run the gamut from details of the invasion of Normandy to congratulatory messages for honors won. Remarkable archival photographs are included in this presentation.

General George C. Marshall played a crucial role in the history of the 20th Century. Serving as Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Marshall led American forces to victory. As Secretary of State, he helped conceive of and implement the Marshall Plan, perhaps the most enlightened government program of modern times. Finally, he answered his government’s call to serve as Secretary of Defense during the Korean War. This Nobel Laureate was not only an important leader, but also a virtuous man—an individual of excellent character.

Rachel Yarnell Thompson is the Historian at the museum home of George C. Marshall in Leesburg, Virginia. She is the author of a full-length biography of this famous soldier-statesman, “Marshall—A Statesman Shaped in the Crucible of War,” and has lectured both nationally and internationally on the topic. Books will be available for purchase and a book signing following the lecture.

The lecture is presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society and sponsored by the Harriet Z. and Bud Albers Memorial Fund. The lecture and book signing are free and open to the public and will begin at noon, Friday, Jan. 24, at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks are available. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at