Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Strange But True

Nancy Pope, National Postal Museum historian and curator, writes on the museum's Pushing the Envelope blog,"On November 8, 1958, an employee of Harry Winston’s New York City jewelry store mailed an ordinary looking package at the mail city post office. The package was anything but ordinary. It held one of the most famous gems in America, the Hope Diamond. The employee paid $145.29 to mail the package. Postage accounted for only $2.44 of the total cost. The rest was for insurance totaling $1 million."

In Washington, the package was delivered to the National History Museum by local letter carrier James G. Todd. There Leonard Carmichael, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution received the package which was addressed to him. Also in attendance were Harry Winston’s wife Edna, Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield, and Ronald Winston, son of jeweler Harry Winston.

After the package was delivered a ceremony was held during which the diamond was given to the museum for public display.
However, according to Wikipedia, the Hope Diamond had a curse on it that foretold bad luck and death not only for the owner of the diamond but for all who touched it.  

Pope goes on to say, "At the donation ceremony Mrs. Winston scoffed at the idea of a curse, noting that her family had held the gem without any ill effects.  Carrier Todd had cause to question just how powerful the curse was. Within a single year after delivering the stone to the Smithsonian, Todd suffered a crush leg and head wound in two separate automobile accidents, his wife died of a heart attack, his dog strangled on his leash, and Todd’s Seat Pleasant, Maryland, home was partially destroyed by fire."

Shown above, from left to right, Ronald Winston, son of jeweler Harry Winston, Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield, letter carrier James G. Todd, Harry’s wife Edna, and Secretary Leonard Carmichael.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM