Cuban H Upmann Petit Upmann Cigars
"I retired as COO of Consolidated Cigar Corp., predecessor to Altadis USA, in 1998, having been in the cigar business since 1956 (I still dabble in it). In my early years, I worked for Faber, Coe & Gregg, Inc., the country's premier importer and distributor of Cuban cigars, among others.
What you say about JFK's love of H. Upmann is true, and it is also true that an aide purchased 1200 H. Upmanns for Kennedy just prior to his signing the Cuban Embargo in 1962. That aide was his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, who confirmed the story in a speech at a Cigar Association of America annual meeting, I believe it was in 1987, at which I was present.
But the cigar was not the Petit Corona, which in that era was 5" x 41r and retailed for 40¢, it was the Petit Upmann, which was a machine made cigar, 3 3/4" x 32r that retailed for 25¢."
As an aside, although the H. Upmann Petit Upmann is the size mentioned by Salinger, I was in charge of inventory control for FC&G at the time and we did not import that cigar under that name. It was sold in the U.S. under the frontmark, Demi Tasse. Perhaps Salinger was confused because it was called Petit Upmann in England, Cuba and the rest of the world."
P.S. According to my friend Simon Chase, of Hunters and Frankau, London, one of the most knowledgeable cigar men in the world, specializing in Cubans, who was there, the Pierre Salinger video in which he talks about JFK's cigar, is of a luncheon that took place in the private room of Wilton's Restaurant, Jermyn Street, London, Friday, May 3, 1991.