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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Winston Churchill's Doctor's Note Allowing Him to Drink "Unlimited" Alcohol in Prohibition America

Winston Churchill (wiki)  arrived in the United States for a long (40 stop) lecture tour in December of 1931, and shortly after his arrival was struck by a car while crossing the street. You can read the story here.

A cab carried him off to Lenox Hill Hospital where he was treated for a deep gash to the head, a fractured nose, fractured ribs, and severe shock. Churchill described how the accident came about:
In England we frequently cross roads along which fast traffic is moving in both directions. I did not think the task I set myself now either difficult or rash. But at this moment habit played me a deadly trick.
I no sooner got out of the cab somewhere about the middle of the road and told the driver to wait than I instinctively turned my eyes to the left. About 200 yards away were the yellow headlights of an approaching car. I thought I had just time to cross the road before it arrived; and I started to do so in the prepossession—wholly unwarranted— that my only dangers were from the left.
After two weeks in the hospital, where he managed to develop pleurisy in addition to his injuries, Churchill and his family headed to the Bahamas for some R&R. Six weeks after the accident, he resumed an reduced 14-stop version of the tour, despite his fears that he would prove unfit.

Dr. Otto Pickhardt, Lenox Hill’s admitting physician, came to the rescue by issuing Churchill the Get Out of Prohibition Free Pass, as pictured below. The text:
…the post-accident convalescence of the Hon. Winston S. Churchill necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits especially at meal times. The quantity is naturally indefinite but the minimum requirements would be 250 cubic centimeters.

Read Churchill’s “My New York Misadventure” in its entirety here.

Previous related posts and links:

Prohibition in the United States began on January 16, 1920 and ended on December 3, 1933.

March 5 is the anniversary of Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech.

Churchill on Islam, and his "We shall fight on the beaches" speech.

Churchill on governmental redistribution.

Before there was Laffer: Churchill on the fiscal cliff..

1 comment:

  1. Churchill to Ibn Saud, after the latter said that he could not allow smoking or drinking in his presence: "I was the host and I said that if it was his religion that made him say such things, my religion prescribed as an absolute sacred ritual smoking cigars and drinking alcohol before, after and if need be during, all meals and the intervals between them."