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Loaded Cigar

It is reported that in the late 1860s, President Ulysses S. Grant gave a cigar to Horace Norton, philanthropist and founder of Norton College. Because of his respect for the President, Norton chose to keep the cigar rather than smoke it. Upon Norton’s death, the cigar passed to his son, and later it was bequeathed to his grandson. It was Norton’s grandson who in 1932 chose to light the cigar ceremoniously during an oration at Norton College’s 70th anniversary celebration. Waxing eloquent, Norton lit the famous cigar and proceeded to extol the many virtues of Grant until...Boom! The renowned cigar exploded! That’s right—over sixty years earlier Grant had passed a loaded cigar along to a good friend, and at long last it had made a fool of his friend’s grandson!

Today in the Word, July, 1989, p. 39