A London Museum has triggered a controversy when it displayed an iconic picture of Sir Winston Churchill on its exterior with his equally iconic cigar airbrushed away into history. The well-known photograph shows Churchill with the cigar firmly in his clenched teeth, but the visitors to the exhibit Churchill’s Britain At War Experience are greeted with a smoke-free version. I suppose Churchill himself would take it in good humor and simply repeat his prior observation that “once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.”
The museum said that it was not its doing and refused to name the person who put together the display.
However, the museum does not know who did the act of airbrushed historical revisionism.
The original picture was taken in 1948 when Churchill was opening the new HQ of 615 County of Surrey Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force of which he was commodore.
There is a call to uncover the culprit. Whoever it is, remember what Sir Winston said, “Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others.”
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9 thoughts on “The Smokeless Churchill: Musuem Displays Picture With Churchill’s Iconic Cigar Airbrushed Away into History”
Just read a fuller explaination on the Heresy Corner website. The image was selected as a genuine error and had been created in 2006 to illustrate a story about politically correct types wishing to outlaw smoking.
Not to be confused with “having the Trotskys”.
I like the latin phrase damnatio memoriae. We can all condemn the memory of smoking.
We could also turn “Trotsky” into a verb. As in, “Hey, that Museum Trotskied these photos!”
This form of cultural revisionism would be laughable but for the fact that it is a lie, and a lie for no purpose. It is pandering to the anti-smoking lobby in the same way that Atty. Gen. Ashcroft pandered to the Christian right by covering the exposed right breast of the Spirit of Justice. I am long past expecting the human race to mature.
Second hand smoke was second only to the carpet bombing of large cities as a cause of death in WWII. Nowadays they make you go outside and use a predator drone if you feel an uncontrolable urge to light someone up.
After looking at Marrrghks’ comments I looked again at both photos. They appear similar, but have stark differences. The hat has a different angle, the fingers appear to be bent forward a little more, the buttons are at a different level and the white on the shirt to the left of the tie appears to be more pronounced.
Looking a little closer at the photo’ it appears to be a pretty poor airbrush job – perhaps deliberately poor?
I wonder if our mystery airbrush artist is making a comment on some of the ridiculous anti-smoking laws we have in the UK, knowing that Churchill may indeed have laughed at the “amendment” of his photo, but would have been somewhat miffed about our previous governments obsession with micro-managing our lives.
“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” – Sigmund Freud
The only thing missing is the proverbial glass and decanter of Scotch, Lock Lomond Whiskey I recall. He said as much as this:
“The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learnt to like it.”
(Sir Winston Churchill)
A Gentleman of History
In War or Peace, Winston Churchill’s Cigars Were Never Far from His Hand
(Some facts can never be airbrushed away)
And at Chartwell Manor, his country home in Kent, Churchill stocked between 3,000 and 4,000 cigars, mainly Cuban, in a room adjacent to his study. The cigars were kept in boxes on shelves with labels reading “large” and “small,” “wrapped” and “naked” to distinguish the cigars’ sizes and whether or not they were wrapped in cellophane. Not surprisingly, Churchill spent a great deal of money on his cigars over the years. As one of his valets, Roy Howells, wrote in his book, Simply Churchill, “It took me a little while to get used to the fact that in two days his cigar consumption was the equivalent of my weekly salary.”
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