Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More Minutiae

In January 1901, my maternal great-great-grandmother—who died long before my mother was born—extended a dinner invitation to Winston Churchill, who at the time was visiting Minneapolis while on a North American lecture tour.

Churchill did not respond to the invitation in a prompt manner, which angered my great-great-grandmother no end. An invitation from my great-great-grandmother was to be regarded as a summons.

Churchill’s faux pas caused a minor scandal in Minneapolis. Everyone thought Churchill, twenty-six years old at the time, to be a most rude young man, lacking the most basic of social graces.

The scandal made the local newspapers.

Winston Churchill, newly-elected Member of Parliament, in December 1900. The photograph was taken in Boston, at the beginning of Churchill’s first American lecture tour.

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