Winston Churchill Had A Doctor's Note To Avoid American Prohibition Laws

Winston Churchill usually had a drink in his hand, and thanks to a doctor's note, he even got past Prohibition laws.
Winston Churchill Had A Doctor's Note To Avoid American Prohibition Laws

Winston Churchill was a man who liked his spirits. Scholars often debate the extent and purpose of his drinking, but regardless, the dude was most comfortable when he had a drink in his hand. He liked champagne with his meals and Johnnie Walker Red Label throughout the day. As you might imagine, trips to Prohibition-era America would've sucked for the British statesman. Churchill had a solution to this, though: he had a doctor's note that gave him permission to drink. 

For obvious reasons, Churchill was not a fan of Prohibition, and he reportedly once joked about going to an American speakeasy (but only to investigate it!). Still, when Churchill visited the U.S., he had to abide by the laws, at least publicly. However, a fortuitous accident gave him a good excuse to drink when in the dry country.

This Churchill portrait perfectly captures the expression of a man who realizes he won't be able to drink while traveling the U.S.

In December 1931, Churchill was on a lecture tour in the United States. While trying to cross the street in New York City, he was hit by a car traveling at 35 miles per hour. Supposedly, he crossed the street without considering how American traffic moved. The accident left him with a broken nose and ribs, along with an injury to his head. He delayed his tour to recover (in the Bamahas, no less), and when he was ready to start again in January 1932, he had renewed energy and a license to drink.

Yes, on January 26, 1932, Churchill received a note from a doctor that stated alcohol was needed to help with his continued recovery. Churchill's doctor specifically noted that he should be allowed to drink during meals, which clearly is what helps someone recover from being hit by a car. As for the amount prescribed, the doctor said he could basically have as much as he wanted, but at the bare minimum, Churchill needed about six shots.

With this pass, Churchill was able to resume his time in the U.S. just as he pleased, with a drink in hand.

Top Image: National Archives and Records Administration/Wiki Commons

Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?