|Author Thomas Maier with Boris Johnson in 2014|
Churchill, gazing at young Roosevelt, admitted quite candidly his ambition. “I wish to be Prime Minister and in close and daily communication by telephonewith the President of the United States,” he declared without hesitation. “There is nothing we could not do if we were together.”
Churchill then motioned to his secretary to bring him a piece of paper. On it, he etched the British sterling pound insignia and then intertwined it with the American dollar symbol. He drew the union of the two with a great flourish.
“Pray, bear this to your father from me,” Churchill beseeched to the president’s son. “Tell him this must be the currency of the future.”
Jimmy looked perplexed. “What will you call this new currency, sir?” he asked.
“The sterling dollar,” Churchill replied.
Roosevelt, who enjoyed a good laugh, teasingly asked, “What, sir, if my father should wish to call it the dollar sterling?”
“It’s all the same—we are together,” Churchill declared.
After that memorable afternoon, the Roosevelts would travel to Paris and then on to Rome. Rose Kennedy joined them on this relaxing trek, during which they would meet the Pope at the Vatican.
But Joe Kennedy had a much different agenda. Kennedy stayed behind in London to finish out the business deal for British liquor that he’d so carefully put together.
(Page 80-81 in WHEN LIONS ROAR: The Churchills and the Kennedys, Crown 2014.)