On this day in 1869, Rufus Jefferson of Newport, RI., changed the tobacco business forever.
While reading the daily newspaper he proceeded to roll his morning cigarette. What Rufus did not know was that earlier that day his wife, Virginia, had inadvertently dropped a few mint leaves in his tobacco pouch.
Rufus went ahead and smoked his cigarette, but this time something was different. Historians believe that this is the moment he said to his slim wife Virginia, "I feel alive with pleasure!".
With a simple mistake and the right timing, the menthol cigarette was born. Forever changing the way the black man would smoke.
Rufus went on to die of lung cancer, broke and destitute. He was a chain smoking black man in the 1800's, what did you expect?