Churchill got a doctor's note requiring him to drink at least 8 doubles a day "for convalescence"

What do you do if you're a powerful, belligerent, racist drunk who's used to getting your own way, and you're visiting Prohibition-wracked America?

You get a doctor to write you a prescription for a lot of booze, that's what.

Letter from Dr. Otto Pickhardt approving Churchill’s use of alcohol, January 26, 1932, Courtesy of the Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge; CHAR 1/400A/46, While visiting Manhattan on December 13, 1931, Churchill made the classic mistake of an Englishman in America and looked the wrong way when stepping out of a cab. He was hit by an oncoming car, requiring a trip to the hospital, and a postponement of his lecture tour. Churchill turned the episode to his advantage, however, writing his tale of the near-miss for newspapers, and securing from Dr. Otto Pickhardt this prescription for medicinal alcohol at the height of prohibition.

Winston Churchill Archive [Art Tattler]

(via Joey DeVilla)

Notable Replies

  1. Well then, don't mind if I join you.

  2. 250 ml is eight doubles? I suspect you're drinking at the wrong bar.

  3. It wasn't for HIS health. It was for the health and safety of everyone around him.

  4. Well, if the drunken racism fits.... it doesn't have to be one or the other. People are complicated.

  5. He was a powerful, belligerent, racist drunk. He also held the line against the even more powerful, more belligerent, more racist (but teetotal) Hitler long enough for the latter to make the mistakes of declaring war on the Soviet Union and the US.

Continue the discussion

30 more replies