Winston Churchill, the great English statesman who was prime minster of the United Kingdom from May 1940-45 and again from 1951-55, is a reliable source of wisdom. He is quoted far and wide, though sometimes for things other people actually said.
Today on "Pure Opelka," Mike Opelka explored the truth of pithy tidbits traditionally attributed to Churchill using Quote Investigator, a handy online resource. He discovered a number of false attributions.
For example, many people believe the British Bulldog said "If you're not a liberal when you're 18, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 40, you have no brain." He did not; it is actually a French quote from 1875 that says "He who is not a Republican at 20 compels one to doubt the generosity of his heart, but he who after 30 persists compels one to doubt the soundness of his mind."
Mike also saw a meme over the weekend with Churchill's picture that said "The fascists of the future will be the antifascists." It was actually Louisiana Senator Huey Long in the 1930s who said "When fascism comes to America, it will be called antifascism."
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its boots on," is known by many to be a Mark Twain quote, but enough people now believe Churchill said it, substituting "pants" for "boots." But even that has more ancient roots, perhaps as an old Chinese proverb.
And a famous one beloved by conservatives, "There is no such thing as a good tax," was never said by Churchill. However, he did address the House of Commons on this matter, saying instead, “Taxes are an evil—a necessary evil, but still an evil, and the fewer we have of them the better.”