Winston Churchill’s Personally-Puffed Cigar Is Going to Auction

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

It’s not often that objects masticated by world leaders come up for private sale. But a new auction offered by Hansons Auctioneers in the UK promises an opportunity for the winning bidder to own a cigar thoroughly chewed by former British prime minister Winston Churchill, whose portraits in media often felt incomplete without his trademark tobacco product.

How is it possible to verify the provenance of the stogie? Curiously, it has a well-documented history. In 1953, Churchill and his wife Clementine went to the theater to see the musical Call Me Madam. During the performance, Churchill puffed on a cigar, which eventually tumbled from his mouth and onto the floor. Seeing this, a theater usher named Violet King picked it up and kept it in her possession for more than a half-century.

Of course, anyone could claim to have done that. So King went a step further by writing to the prime minister’s office to verify the authenticity of the cigar and requesting permission to tell her friends about her acquisition (his office replied, confirming the item). Later, she had her niece, who worked for a plastics company that made material for baby incubators, encase her ashy find in a container that likely helped preserve it.

Winston Churchill's cigar is pictured
Hansons Auctioneers

Churchill was extremely fond of cigars, so much so that he was often photographed as a veritable walking smokestack. Not even recurring pneumonia would dissuade him from his habit.

Hansons plans to auction the cigar off on December 11 and anticipates a closing price between $6340 and $7609.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

Werner Doehner, the Last Survivor of the Hindenburg, Has Died at 90

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The Hindenburg disaster signaled the end of the Airship Era and the rise of Nazi Germany. As The New York Times reports, Werner G. Doehner, the last surviving passenger of the historic crash, died on November 8 at age 90.

Doehner was just 8 years old when he boarded the Hindenburg with his father, mother, brother, and sister in early May 1937. The family made up five of the 97 passengers and crew members who took the three-day flight from Germany to the United States.

In New Jersey, the German airship's voyage was cut short: It erupted into a ball of flame during its descent, an accident that likely resulted from static electricity igniting a hydrogen leak. Werner Doehner spent several months in a hospital with severe burns on his arms, legs, and face. His father and sister were among the 36 people who perished in the tragedy.

Doehner went on to live a long life. After the disaster, he returned with his surviving family to Mexico City, the place were he grew up. He continued to live there with his wife Elin and his son Bernie until 1984, when he moved to the United States with his family to work as an engineer for General Electric. Bernie Doehner shared that his father didn't like to talk about his memories of the Hindenburg disaster—though they did make a solemn visit to the site of the crash when Bernie was an adolescent.

Werner Doehner died of complications related to pneumonia earlier this month in Laconia, New Hampshire. He had been the youngest passenger on board the Hindeburg's final voyage, and at age 90, he was the last remaining survivor.

[h/t The New York Times]

61 Festive Facts About Thanksgiving

jenifoto/iStock via Getty Images
jenifoto/iStock via Getty Images

From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to back-to-back NFL games, there are certain Thanksgiving traditions that you’re probably familiar with, even if your own celebration doesn’t necessarily include them. But how much do you really know about the high-calorie holiday?

To give you a crash course on the history of Thanksgiving and everything we associate with it, WalletHub compiled stats from the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Farm Bureau Association, Harris Poll, and more into one illuminating infographic. Featured facts include the date Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday (October 3, 1863) and the percentage of Americans whose favorite dish is turkey (39 percent).

Not only is it interesting to learn how the majority of Americans celebrate the holiday, it also might make you feel better about how your own Thanksgiving usually unfolds. If you’re frantically calling the Butterball Turkey hotline for help on how to cook a giant bird, you’re not alone—the hotline answers more than 100,000 questions in November and December. And you’re in good company if your family forgoes the home-cooked meal altogether, too: 9 percent of Americans head to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s also a great way to fill in the blanks of your Thanksgiving knowledge. You might know that the president ceremoniously pardons one lucky turkey every year, but do you know which president kicked off the peculiar practice? It was George H.W. Bush, in 1989.

Read on to discover the details of America’s most delicious holiday below, and find out why we eat certain foods on Thanksgiving here.


Source: WalletHub

[h/t WalletHub]