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10 People Who Did Not Board the Titanic

I am writing this list on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which launched the United States into World War II. In a few short months, we will reach another major anniversary – 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic. As everyone knows, the Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ocean liner of its time, and so technologically advanced that it was claimed the ship could not sink. Many wealthy and famous people were on board the Titanic for her maiden voyage from Europe to America in April 1912, including Benjamin Guggenheim and John Jacob Aster. Hundreds more every day people were also on board. Only 710 people would survive when the Titanic hit an iceberg in the icy waters of the North Atlantic and sank.

While 2,224 people set sail on the Titanic, many more were scheduled to make the voyage, but for one reason or another, never did. The reasons were as varied as the people who were on board. Though the builders of the Titanic spared no expense on accommodations, still, several people canceled their Titanic passages when they discovered their cabins to be unsatisfactory. For example, Colonel J. Warren Hitchens, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Clifford Wilson and their daughters Dorothy and Edith canceled their Titanic bookings, and sailed aboard Rotterdam instead. Others were delayed due to illness or changes in business plans. Still others decided to leave for America early, and canceled their reservations on the Titanic and booked passage on another liner.

Soon after the Titanic sank, reports came in from all over the world of those who claimed to have been scheduled to sail on the Titanic but who did not. They became known as the “Just Missed It” club. Many were obviously people seeking to gain notoriety, at the time, from the tragic event. But, the fact does remain that there were a number of people who, for one reason or another had actually received tickets or confirmed their passage and did cancel their trips. Several of these people claimed they canceled their tickets for sailing to America aboard the Titanic because they had premonitions of a disaster. Here are ten people who did not embark for America aboard the Titanic, and lived to tell the tale.

10

Robert Bacon

Bacon01

The United States ambassador to France, Mr. Robert Bacon, had reserved passage aboard Titanic for himself, his wife and daughter. But their departure was delayed by the tardy arrival of the new ambassador, Myron T. Hendrick. The Bacon family sailed April 20, on the maiden voyage of the S.S. France – instead of the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic.

9

Baron M. von Bethmann

Victoria Coin

A toss of a coin was all that separated three men from being aboard the Titanic. In 1912, three worldly and wealthy male friends were taking a tour of the world. The three were Baron M. von Bethmann of Frankfort-on-the-Main, P. de La Vielestreaux, and Maurice Brevard of Paris. They eventually made their way to Chicago to visit commercial industrial and financial centers. While there they reported their near-miss with the Titanic.

“We intended coming over on the Titanic,” the Baron said, “mostly for the novelty of its maiden trip, but at the last moment concluded to take an earlier boat.” “Two of us wanted to wait on the new Titanic,” the baron said, “and the third felt that we would be wasting too much time. We tossed a coin to decide the matter and it fell in favor of an immediate start.”


8

Norman Craig

Titanic12

Norman Craig was a Scottish MP and King’s Counsel, and had originally booked passage aboard the Titanic for her maiden voyage to America. He had decided to make the trip “for a blow of fresh air.” After the Titanic sank, some assumed he had been aboard or transferred to another ship for safe passage, but he never made the trip. He said “I suddenly decided not to sail, I cannot tell you why; there was simply no reason for it.” “I had no mysterious premonitions or visions of any kind nor did I dream of any disaster.” “But I do know that, at practically the last moment, I did not want to go.”

7

James Martin Gray

James Martin Gray Low Res

The Reverend James M. Gray was a pastor in the Reformed Episcopal Church, a Bible scholar, editor and hymn writer, and the president of Moody Bible Institute. It was in his capacity as Dean of Moody Bible Institute that fate intervened and probably saved his life. Reverend Gray was scheduled to preach at the graduating class ceremony of the institute and was about to head from England back to America, to do so. However, a friend, Reverend Harold, urged him to remain in England and return to America instead aboard the Titanic on her maiden voyage. Gray refused because he felt duty bound to be at the institute to preach to the graduates. He took an earlier steamship to America a week before the Titanic sank.

6

Edgar Selwyn

Mr-X

Edgar Selwyn was an important figure in American theater in the first half of the 20th century. He directed and produced films, but is probably best remembered for having co-founded and built the Selwyn Theater (now the American Airlines Theater) on Broadway, in 1918. However, had it not been for Edgar Selwyn’s desire to hear an early rendition of a new novel, he might have died aboard the Titanic and never built the theater.

English novelist Arnold Bennett recorded in his diary that a meeting between himself and the Selwyn’s was the only thing that saved their lives. The Selwyn’s came to see Bennett on April 19th, to hear him recite passages from his latest comic novel, and to do so forced them to cancel their plans to board the Titanic on April 10, 1912. They had planned on traveling aboard the Titanic with Mr. and Mrs. H.B. Harris, who did make the journey. It is possible their wish to get an early look at Bennett’s novel “The Reagent” saved their lives. As for the Harris couple, Mr. Harris was a Broadway producer who saw his wife off onto a lifeboat and died with 1,513 others on the ship.

5

David Blair

Blairbnps2808 228X388

David Blair could thank White Star line corporate red tape for saving his life. He had been appointed as second officer of the Titanic, sailing with her during her sea trials, and making the trip from Belfast to Southampton. But he was not on board when the Titanic set sail for America. It is thought that the White Star line wanted Chief Officer Henry Wilde to have experience aboard a ship (the Titanic) he might someday captain, so Wilde was transferred from the Olympic to the Titanic, and Blair sent over to the Olympic. Good for Blair, not so good for Wilde. This move bumped Chief Officer Murdoch back to First Officer and First Officer Lightoller back to Second Officer. It also caused confusion as the ship was about the depart for America. In his rush to get off the Titanic and onto the Olympic, Blair took with him by accident, the key to the crow’s nest telephone. Most importantly, as it would turn out for the men in the crow’s nest keeping watch for ice that fateful night, Blair also mislaid the crows nest binoculars. Blair had stowed the lookout’s binoculars in his cabin and failed to inform anyone aboard the ship. When lookout Frederick Fleet went for them, they were not there. So Fleet had no binoculars when he was in the crow’s nest, looking for ice.


4

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt I

Vanderbilt Ag6

A member of the famous Vanderbilt family, Alfred Vanderbilt was not only extremely wealthy, he was also a dedicated sportsman. He especially loved riding in horse-drawn carriages with friends (something called “coaching”) and fox hunting. In April 1912, he and his wife were in Europe and on April 9, just before Titanic was to leave on its maiden voyage, he changed his mind and decided not to board the Titanic for America. Someone in their family objected to their sailing aboard the new ship, “because so many things can go wrong on a maiden voyage.” However, their servant, Frederick Wheeler did make the voyage on April 10, 1912 along with their luggage. He sailed as a second-class passenger and died when the Titanic went down.

Three years later, his luck would run out. On a business trip to Europe to buy horses and dogs for his favorite hobbies, he was aboard the Lusitania when a German U Boat torpedoed it off the coast of Ireland. Several survivors reported they last saw Vanderbilt offering his life vest to a child and helping the mother tie it onto the child. Vanderbilt did not survive.

3

JP Morgan et al.

Morgan

An incredible stroke of bad luck that turned out to be good luck befell three prominent industrial leaders (Henry Clay Frick, JP Morgan, and J. Horace Harding) who were all set to board the Titanic, in April 1912. The three are linked so I listed them as a single entry. Henry Clay Frick, one of the wealthiest Americans of the early 20th Century with vast holding in steel manufacturing, originally booked passage for himself and his wife aboard the Titanic, in February 1912. But while they were in Europe, Mrs. Frick suffered an accident in Madeira and sprained her ankle. Upon arriving in Italy she was admitted to a hospital. This caused a delay in the travel plans for the Frick’s and they were forced to give up their suite aboard the Titanic. Instead, the suite (B-52, 54, and 56) went to JP Morgan. Morgan was, of course, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world in 1912, with his vast banking fortune. But Morgan himself was forced to alter his travel plans when he decided to prolong his visit in Europe. The reservations were once more turned over, this time to J. Horace Harding and his wife. Harding was another prominent banker. But the couple was able to get an earlier sailing date aboard Mauretania. The unlucky suite would eventually be taken by White Star Line Chairman J. Bruce Ismay.


2

Rev. J. Stuart Holden

J-Stuart-Holden

The Reverend J. Stuart Holden was the vicar of St. Paul’s Church, London. He had made plans to depart for America aboard Titanic to speak at the Christian Conservation Congress (a six-day convention opening at Carnegie Hall on April 20). However, like Henry Clay Frick, his plans were interrupted by his wife’s sudden illness. On April 9, one day before sailing, the Rev. Holden postponed his trip to stay at his wife’s side.

Holden returned his Titanic ticket, but he held onto the envelope in which it has been delivered. The envelope was subsequently framed and today is on exhibit at Liverpool’s Merseyside Maritime Museum. The yellowed envelope has black-and-red printing that states it contains “First Class Passenger Ticket per Steamship… Titanic” (the word Titanic is written in by hand). Thankful for his salvation, Reverend Holden also wrote on the envelope a passage from Psalm 103, verse 3, “Who Redeemeth Thy Life From Destruction.” This was Holden giving thanks not just for himself, but for all of those who, for what ever reason, did not board the Titanic.

Amazingly, the Reverend Holden was not the only clergyman planning to attend the Christian Congress who did not sail from England aboard Titanic. Two other European speakers who had been invited to speak at the convocation were also forced to cancel their passages aboard Titanic maiden voyage because of circumstances and a change in plans. Archbishop Thomas J. Madden, of Liverpool, and the Rev. J.S. Wardell Stafford, were thus, also not on board when the Titanic sank.

1

Milton Hershey

Milton Hershey

Milton S. Hershey was a businessman known for inventing the Hershey Chocolate Bar and building the Hershey Chocolate Company, as well as his many philanthropic activities. In 1912, Hershey paid a $300 deposit for a first class passage aboard the White Star Line and her newest most extravagant ship, Titanic, for her maiden voyage. However, in spite of the deposit, Hershey never boarded the ship. An employee at his company requested that he return early from a trip in Europe to deal with business. Hershey abandoned his original plans and left Europe three days earlier on The America. The ship made it back to the United States without incident.



  • David Hopkins

    I haven’t seen any of my lists published for a long time.

    • Possibly because I have over 1,000 to publish….

      • Bullamakanka

        Cool! Three or so years worth… my first is in the stack somewhere. What publisher wouldn’t be envious of having too much material to work with?

      • Ness

        I haven’t seen u leave a comment in a while.

      • Anthony

        I miss Frater-lists!

      • Jamie

        Why not get some help from someone and publish two a day?

      • Eumesmopo

        Can’t you just publish more than only one a day?

    • That is true also of the authors of the other 1,000 lists I have in queue waiting for publication.

  • Jacob

    Hmmm….Interesting concept…

    • I agree – hence publishing it :) I was most interested in the survival of Mr Hershey – imagine what chocolaty delights may have been lost to the world had he sailed?!

      • John Waller

        I love Hershey kisses. It’s great he didn’t go on.

        • talkissos

          Then again, imagine what products we didn’t get a chance to experience because of the people who died on the ship.

  • Sesquipedalia

    My great great grandpa was the only engine room worker to survive the titanic, because his train was late and he missed the departure! I probably have a lot to thank for that.

    • Arsnl

      Now we know why the titanic didn’t have enough steam to out manoeuvre that iceberg. :-)

      Was his boss happy when he saw him come too late? You’re lucky your great grandpa wasnt japanese.

      • mrbrytsyd

        Yeah Arsnl, you may pretty well be right. hahaha

        @Sesquipedalia

        That’s what I kept telling my classmates at uni., you may never know the benefits of being tardy.

        LOL. Your whole existence is due to your great great gramps fortunate misfortune. =)

    • Magpie

      Its a good thing he was late, or else you wouldn’t be here :) What a great story :D

    • VintageObsessive

      You mean to tell me that when Phyllis told Michael that “Everyone in the engine room drowned”, she was incorrect???

  • Steven Douglas

    Too bad JP Morgan wasn’t on board – that was everyone’s loss, as we might actually be free of central banks, and might have a “not-so-Keynesian” economy that is about to implode. Again.

    • Bullamakanka

      Well, if it makes you feel any better, he died less than a year after the Titanic sank.

      I suppose because he was a “1-percenter” (who bailed out the US Treasury on two occasions), he deserved death. Fascinating philosophy.

      • Arsnl

        Is one of thise bailing outs, the 900 billion plan (or whatever the number was)? Cuz if it is, you really got things wrong man. Im not american but as things go, the govt bailed out the banks, not the other way round chump. Do you know any Gus or Al or Tyrell that was defaulting on his mortgage and got a helping hand from that money? The only people the 1percenters ever bail out are themselves. See LTCM for examples.

        And they cant even bail out the govt. Even if they wanted. Your comment baffles me. Bailing out as in Gates took out his wallet? I dont get it. I understand that you’re autistic so you’re special but still. What did you mean by what you just said?

        • Beoth

          You’re incredibly off. About 100 years off actually, and you’re confusing very different events. JP Morgan personally ensured the liquidity of the US government on 2 occasions, keeping the government out of bankruptcy. (not bad for an evil 1%er.) About a century later, in 2008, The US government instituted the TARP program to save banks that were facing a new liquidity crisis. And BTW, the initial outlay for that was around 900 billion, but the banks have been paying it back with interest. The government will end up spending at worst less than 100 billion on it and there is a good chance it will make money.

          • Arsnl

            No. I think they spent a bit a more than 100 billion. About 300 i think. And some on bonuses. Not bad for some evil 1ers.
            And you have to think that it is wrong for a few individuals to have that much sway. We’ve evolved but we have much more work to do.

        • BOONE

          No, you dolt. He is talking about JP Morgan during his lifetime, who personally oversaw two different near financial and economical collapses and prevented them by working with other major financiers in the country.

          Perhaps instead of assuming things you should read more about history to discover what people are talking about.

          Also, is it really necessary to attack JFrater in your next comment? You have issues and clearly a lack of humor or education in history.

          • BOONE

            P.S. That was in reply to Arsni

          • Steven Douglas

            JP Morgan was as much a part of the problem as the solutions he offered. He had perfected and gave cover to domestic protectionists and also to banks for their crime of fractional reserve lending which caused the national banking insolvency crises in the first place, and it was the houses of Morgan and Rockefeller who were later directly responsible for the establishment of the Federal Reserve – which gives even greater cover to legalized counterfeiting and siphoning of wealth from the money supply.

          • Arsnl

            Well my bad. But in my deffence i was wondering what bail out he was mentioning.
            Who knew my american history was that messed up that a bunch of individuals could have such a power. Oh well.
            My excuses Bull.

      • Arsnl

        Oh and sorry for the cheap shot man. The internet makes me cranky.From now im ill only be mean to racists,and to holocaust deniers, and birthers, and people who think evolution is bs, and armin and people who write with caps and people who think wtc was an inside job, and ryan thomson, and people who make up bs pseudoscientific theories, and armin.

        • Steven Douglas

          No problem, I get very sad because of the level of obfuscation that has happened, to the point where even the “sides” we are presented with as so-called choices aren’t really choices at all.

          Henry Ford was right when he said, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

          Excluding ALL of the elitists of all ideological stripes, NOTHING would unite Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents – who have so much misplaced disdain one to another, as learning and understanding what, exactly, has been done TO them, especially over the past century – and even longer.

          It has been nothing more than a game of Let’s You And Them Fight – as we fight over branches, twigs and leaves, without ever once considering the actual roots.

    • Wouldn’t it be better to wish that Keynes mother was on board prior to his birth? :) Far more effective and fool-proof!

      • Arsnl

        Yes. One of the men who made the western world the global power. Man. He sure was evil. The guy responsible for the glorious 30’s (as french call them).
        Sometimes i swear JF, you are so thick. Sure you made a great site that attracts many fun and interesting people but im sorry i have little respect for your views. Way too right wing (which is so weird for someone who calls himself a christian) way too little understanding of physics and science in general.

        • mom424

          A little too right wing maybe – for this die-hard, bleedin’ heart, socialist… but Jamie weak on science and physics? What are you talking about? I do believe he’s even coming round to the current thought on climate change…..hm.

          • Planet Earth

            On climate change , I always wonder why no one talks about the Sun . What if the Sun is in a cycle and is heating up right now .Are we not moving in a planet alignment soon ? I’m just saying what’s going on in space ?

            There no reason why cars & Truck & 18 wheelers shouldn’t be electric .Back in the 1940 -1960 most in town delivery trucks were electric .

        • Steven Douglas

          Ah, yes, “physics and science” – “positivist” Keynes who thought that the laws of physics could apply to “irrational” people and human behavior – but only when viewed in the aggregate, naturally, and no regard to the winners and losers it must select in order to work – temporarily. A money supply that can be thoroughly debased and debauched with bloated, inflated, inverted pyramids as a means to a glorious credit/debt middle game, with no thought whatsoever to the horrifying end game, when the real physics kicks in, and we realize that nothing can inflate forever without a massive implosion.

          Science and physics my eye.

          • Arsnl

            Uhm. I meant physics and science in general cuz some other comments he had.
            Oh and btw economics isnt an actual science (see popper so im not going into that).
            And yes Jesus is by virtue a communist. Bless the meek etc.
            “and siphon wealth from the poor and laborers by different criminal means” huh? You’re smoking some mary jane arent you? You little rascal.

            Keynesian policies created big projects. Pushed for govt influence and govt fiscal policies and pioneered the study of macroeconomics. I fail to see what was wrong with that. His new ideas helped create big govt spending projects like infrastructure, industry etc(keynsianism creared factories and maximization of profit is moving thos factories to china). Sure nobody’s perfect but let’s see a classic or neoclassic system achieve what the keynesian system achieved.

          • Steven Douglas

            Arsni, two things:

            Jesus is a King of Kings – of individuals, His kingdom of which is in each one. That they may share all things in common – as a matter of free choice. It is a special kind of “communism” where the rights of kings (individuals) are not only acknowledged but freely given. Else there could be no such thing as a prodigal son. That is contrasted by communism on Earth, which denies even the concept of individual rights, and seek to lock everyone into a giant collective, regardless of individual choice, run by an elitist oligarchy – fer da gud o’ da peephole. Go enslave someone else for altruistic reasons. It will still be slavery, despite anyone’s wonderful intent as slavery and oppression as a means to a wonderful end.

            And Keynesian policies created big projects – ALWAYS at a cost to others, always down the road. I have no respect for those who run up debts in the name of other people’s children and grandchildren. Creating money out of a vacuum creates a wealth siphoning vacuum that literally STEALS from savings (while calling it a bad thing), and puts the poor and working classes on a treadmill – one that ALWAYS ends in disaster.

            Go sell your wonderful infrastructure creating machine to Argentina and Zimbabwe. Oh yeah, that’s right – they already bought one for themselves. Too bad they weren’t big enough, like us, to delay the inevitable implosion for a hundred years they way we have. We have lots more in our multi-level markeing down-levels. Too bad they didn’t have other countries buying into their illusion of solvency the way we have in our Too Big To Fail way, who could temporarily finance even more of their consume-at-all-costs debt-money creation, delaying the inevitable implosion just a bit longer – while making it all the bigger.

            Strap yourself in, Arsni, if you think the ride has been bumpy, you haven’t seen anything yet. Those freely created and irredeemable trillions in ever-emptier promises are all about to come home to roost, just as the Keynesian infinite inflation religion and its perpetual motion machine is about to go global for one last bubble of global unaccountability and debauchery. But not until after Americans and Europeans have had their fill of a deadly boatload of its Ponzi crow.

          • Planet Earth

            @ steven douglas

            Most people don’t know much about history .

            J.P Morgan was a fat evil man that work for Bankers in London .

            The proof is in the pudding , How many people know J.P Morgan DAD ?

            Or George Peabody and who there business associate were ?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junius_Spencer_Morgahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Peabody

            It’s not like they had a secret meeting on a island to create the Federal Reserve in 1907 , Oh wait that’s truth !
            http://www.jekyllislandhistory.com/federalreserve

            1791–1811: First Bank of the United States

            1811–1816: No central bank

            1816–1836: Second Bank of the United States

            1837–1862: Free Bank Era

            1846–1921: Independent Treasury System

            1863–1913: National Banks

            1913–Present: Federal Reserve System

            Oh look at that President Andrew Jackson kicks out the Banks . Now ask yourself why he fought so hard to get rid of Central Banks .

            Federal Reserve – it’s not like they waited until most of CONGRESS was on Christmas Vacation to sing it in , oh that”s truth , DEC 23 1913 .

            Wake up people

            END THE FED Ron Paul 2012

        • Steven Douglas

          Oh, and Arsni, what’s with the assumption that Jesus somehow take sides with political left OR the right? Both slop from the same collectivized currency trough – both debase and debauch the same currency, and siphon wealth from the poor and laborers by different criminal means. What one proposes to “give back” is meaningless.

          The notion that you are more “giving” of what does not belong to you in the first place is not “Christian”. Christ actually allowed those who wanted to follow Him the opportunity to do so, while those who did not were quite free to act as the prodigal son and go their own way. That freedom of individual choice is the very antithesis of what it means to be left wing. Or right, for that matter.

        • yep

          Yeah Keynes the guy who lost his fortune twice both in economic collapses telling people how to run economies. Makes perfect sense. Keynesianism is just an excuse for politicians to exert their power and reallocate resources in the economy which causes the business cycles.

      • Steven Douglas

        Jamie, absolutely. Keynes, the camel with his nose in the tent, had no idea the level of ad hoc fantasy currency-debauching gibberish that he had facilitated. His proposed methadone solution turned into a global heroin trafficking operation that would appeal to, and be supported at all costs by every economic and political ideologue on the elitist left and the right who slop from the same trough.

        Yeah, siphoning wealth via legal counterfeiting from an ever-diluted and infinitely inflating money supply – which robs everyone blindly and guarantees the erosion and destruction of the middle class and poor – what a great “contribution” Keynes made.

        • mom424

          I agree, although I’m sure Keynes never expected an entire economy based on nothing but air. Didn’t even he expect there to be some actual production to base the wealth on? Manufactured goods, raw materials, whatever? Something concrete?

          Also, Jesus, divine or not, certainly wouldn’t approve of the particular brand of capitalism practiced in the USA. Despite what all those Southern Republican pseudo-Christians would have you believe. Me, me, me, is anti-Christian. So is greed.

          • Steven Douglas

            No question about it, mom424.

            Jesus is to most of Christianity what Keynes is to the economic religion that now bears his name in vain, while bearing little resemblance to what he actually taught. Keynes would indeed be horrified to see how much of what he wrote was “leveraged” as a means to different ends than anything he envisioned.

            “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” – John Maynard Keynes, 1920

            Modern so-called Keynesians, like Friedman monetarists and other Keynesian “protestant” religions have so changed the definition of “currency” (money = debt) that there really is nothing to debauch – which renders Keynes’ quote above absolutely meaningless, as it gets a vacant ::: blink blink ::: Does-Not-Compute stares and dismissals in response.

            And “Capitalism” is something that is practiced worldwide, by everyone, micro-economically, despite those who take it upon themselves to manipulate and control it “in the macroeconomic aggregate”. And capitalism in America is not “free market” by any stretch of the imagination. It based on ever-expanding credit and ever-expanding consumption – AS A REQUIREMENT. It cannot survive without INDEFINITE EXPANSION. It deliberately taxes and punishes savings (private accumulation of capital) in favor of LENDING FROM A VACUUM – the mechanism by which all money is created, as savings is eroded – and ONLY to those who are credit-worthy, who get to spend newly inflated currency while it is still worth something…at everyone else’s expense.

            The worst part about it – inflation and perpetual debasement of the currency is supported by both the left and the right, having the same effect for different reasons. Deficit spending finances both the warfare and welfare states at the expense of savings, while fractional reserve lending siphons and taxes the same savings, and future savings, so that select enterprises can have “liquidity” – having to risk only a fractionally reserved part of their own capital – because, you know, we’re all in it together.

            Lunatics really are running the asylum. The left and the right are flip-sides of the same debauched coin, the intrinsic value of which is ultimately worse than worthless. In the end it is positively genocidal.

        • yep

          Steven, what school of economic thought do you adhere to, or which ones do you tend to agree with?

          • Steven Douglas

            @ yep

            Have to clarify here. Many people make the mistake of referring to capitalism and socialism as if they were opposites. They are not. They are apples and oranges. There is no escaping capitalism by any political regime, as all capitalism is rooted in micro-economics. That is as true for North Korea as it is for North America. As such, political regimes and macroeconomics can only aid or interfere with this process “in the aggregate”. However, it is not a choice between capitalism and something else. Capitalism is a fact of human existence.

            Having said that, much of what I hold to be true agrees quite well with Austrian economics. However, I don’t view Austrian or Keynesian/Chicago schools as opposites, or even “alternatives”.

            Austrian economics encompasses and can describe Keynesian schools and others, but the opposite is not true, as mainstream economics is incapable (deliberately even) of describing or even acknowledging Austrian economics – which is not even considered as anything but “meaningless”, given the governing assumptions adopted, and within the context with which it pretends to work (e.g., logical empiricism/positivism).

            Ironically, mainstream positivists claim to eschew all normatives while failing to recognize the MYRIAD normative underpinnings of their own school, while the

            Austrian heterodoxy is the only one standing truly outside the box, as it pays no heed whatsoever to normative assumptions, freely admits what it does not know and cannot predict – even as a “good approximation” – and merely describes axiomatically what is obvious and self-evident.

            While mainstream economics is concerning only with the balance of “the economy on the whole”, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, it is incapable of accurately describing and predicting something as simple as individual winners and losers – because “It’s the economy, stupid…” is never addressed as a function of “Whose economy, you moron?”.

            Furthermore, mainstream economists are incapable of addressing the end game of a system that is only geared for infinite expansion – never contraction – and cannot perceive the logical impossibility of a macabre game of musical chairs, where all chairs are removed, more players enter competing for the same non-existent chair, with the assumption that A) the music must NEVER stop, and B) the number of players must ALWAYS increase. Perpetually. Infinitely. An impossibility which is never addressed – even when there are busts and massive implosions. The answer is always more of the hair of the dog – as if that was an answer.

          • mom424

            You neglected to mention, with your apple and orange analogy, that the two can be used at the same time; they’re not mutually exclusive. We in Canada ride that line as does S. Korea, Iceland, and probably quite a few European countries (economics is not my strong suit). Taking a look around the globe, it appears to me to be the better answer.

            Your point about contraction is an important one; should definitely be directed at those same folks here in Canada that b*tch and whine about immigration – you can’t have it both ways. Either allow immigration or find a way to contract the economy w/o implosion.

          • Steven Douglas

            @ mom424

            Absolutely correct. I thought it was implied that capitalism is not mutually exclusive with any political regime, and has nothing – ZERO to do with which one is “best” (as always subjectively determined) – that includes the political regime I envision as most utopian, which does not even exist, and is not proposed by anyone.

  • Baba

    Lucky people.

  • OddJobb

    #5: Could we say that the sinking of the Titanic was his fault (he neglected his duty in regard to the crow’s-nest and the binoculars)? or whoever wanted him transferred in the first place??

    • I actually read that very same question today when I looked the guy up. I can’t see any reason why he can’t be made to carry a lot of the burden of guilt. His errors were quite significant in the scheme of things.

    • Le Tel

      I agree, that’s what I thought…more haste and less speed could’a saved a lot of lives…and we wouldn’t have that godawful movie!

    • bazoo

      I thought that too.

      At the same time, it should have been part of some sort of departure checklist to make sure all necessary equipment is in place before a ship departs.

  • Simplifried

    This was a good read, thanks.

  • GLC

    I didn’t board the titanic

  • Sgt. York

    I also did not board the Titanic.

    (interesting list, though).

  • gigi

    @OddJobb I was thinking the very same thing.

    All in all, an interesting list. Thank you for sharing! Hmm… I wonder if this will prompt a similar list for 9/11?

    • Bullamakanka

      I think there are stories out there about people missing their flights that morning. Ian Thorpe (Aussie swimmer) was at the WTC that morning on a jog, but forgot his camera and went back to his hotel (if one account I read is correct).

    • Great idea for a list!

      • ..,,l,,..

        Bin Laden should be first on that list

      • vanowensbody

        I’m already on it Jamie. Have the list to you by the end of this weekend.

        – Pat

    • Jed

      Seth MacFarlane (family guy creator) was booked on one of the 9/11 flights but got too drunk the night before and over slept in the morning and missed the flight

  • Retro review

    Where’s Waldo ? He should be #1

  • bbbaldie

    That J.P. Morgan could have won an ugly contest in a Delaware county Oklahoma bar…

    • mom424

      …drive a Model T up that nose. Good thing that wealth and power are intoxicating – where would we be without Anderson Cooper? 9_9

      • mom424

        although I must admit, I do like him, and he’s way cute…

  • Will Trame

    This is the first time I’ve heard of ten people who didn’t board the Titanic. I figure this bit of trivia could coalesce into a more exhaustive list of close calls and lucky breaks. Good list as i did not know of hardly any of these cases.

  • Strange idea for a list, but interesting regardless.

    It’s interesting how little things can shape people’s lives dramatically. Ok in this case, missing your boat or arranging for a different trip isn’t that little, but things like a sprained ankle (Number 3)/leaving a little later etc can drastically change the course of your life.

    Though it does seem the people of the list were the kind of people that could afford to take different boats/change their plans quickly without much financial repercussions and they of course, are the people most likely not to have made the trip versus someone whos ticket was a considerable investment

  • Thomas Berg

    Could someone do a lost like this but for the people who were supposed to go on 9/11 but didnt?

    • Magpie

      I agree. I’ve heard a few stories of well known people who almost went on one of the planes used in 9/11. It would be a very interesting list.

      • An old friend of mine *was* on American Airlines flight 11. Was coming home early.

  • Woodchuck Chuck

    I was quite relieved about the criteria on this list, because based on the title alone you could have had almost everyone alive the day it sailed… :P

  • oouchan

    Unique and well written and on top of all that quite interesting. I like the name of the club… “Just Missed It”. For whatever the reason, it probably left the person shaken to know just how close they were to that tragic moment.

    Interesting list.

  • Jamie

    The conspiracy theory’s that go around about the titanic are really interesting to look into if you are bored.

    No. 5.

    What a fucking idiot.

  • Alan

    Nice list. Best list in a long time.

  • Steve

    I wonder if David Blair ever blamed himself in any way for the sinking. There would be a case for at least contributing to it. I hope he didn’t shoulder the blame though, that could have been unbearable.

    I’d be curious to how they knew about the key and binoculars after the fact.

    • Arsnl

      If a huge ship like that depends on *one* pair of binoculars then it would have sunk sooner or later. Huge events happen for a multitude of reasons.

    • Maggot

      I’d be curious to how they knew about the key and binoculars after the fact.

      Fredrick Fleet, the lookout mentioned in the item text, was a survivor. So it seems only logical that he mentioned it during later investigative interviews, and Blair likely coming forward to connect the dots.

  • I’d have replaced #1 with Leonardo DiCaprio.

  • vanowensbody

    I am working on a list on that very subject right now. Hope to have it ti Jamie soon.

    – Pat

  • vanowensbody

    Glad people like the list. The Titanic has fascinated me since I read Walter Lord’s “A Night to Remember” when I was in sixth grade in 1970. I might come up with some more Titanic lists before we reach the 100th anniversary of the sinking in April 2012. Thanks to jamie for publishing it.

    Also, I am working on a list of those who did not “board” the World Trade Center, Flight 93, and the Pentagon, on 9-11-01.

  • Pusser

    That photo is not Edgar Selwyn. Sadly, the name of the movie actor shown slips my mind. Oh, and the plural of Selwyn is Selwyns, not Selwyn’s. I enjoy the lists.

    • Maggot

      It’s Robert Montgomery.

  • Pusser

    You mention Alfred Vanderbilt. CNN’s Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt heir. He is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt.

  • Lifeschool

    Nice list – enjoyed the ‘cursed room’ theory in item #3. Staggered how you managed to find out all this information.

  • Anonymous Coward

    I’ve never heard of most of these people, but still a really neat idea for a list. Nice job.

  • mom424

    Great job. Great concept. Can’t wait for the next installment of Near Misses. Thanks Pat.

  • Miguel

    Was the Titanic actually ‘technologically advanced’ or was it just very large? It was certainly slow for its time.

  • Matt

    I love near miss lists. Especially stories of people who just missed somethign that could have been tragic. My Mom was in Germany in the 70’s and missed a train that was later blown up by a terrorist group.

    • Magpie

      Whoa! Im glad she didnt take it :)

  • Sbtier

    Nice list. I had never heard about Henry Clay Frick even though his museum is one of my favorites.

  • Nickysix

    things most sertainly wouldnt have ended the same way if these fellas were on board.. because of the butterfly effect.

  • T. Hays

    Number 5, David Blair, should have been listed as number 1.

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  • Eumesmopo

    I didn’t board the Titanic either. Why am I not in this list?

  • Georgina B

    Most of them were rich so they probably would have been fine. First class passengers got off pretty lightly death toll wise.

    • Your comment got me interested in finding out if that was true, so I did some checking. The totals are pretty interesting.

      Of the 175 first class male passengers, 57 survived.

      Of the 144 first class female passengers, 140 survived.

      Of 6 first class child passengers, 5 survived.

      First class passengers had a total 63% survival rate but, as you can see, it was mainly the women and children.

      Second class had a survival rate of 43%, and third class had an abysmal 25% survival rate.

      • Miguel

        That’s a fairly simplistic as well as a typically folk-Marxist rich bad/poor good analysis.

        The lowest survival rate by far – 8.3% – was second class men. It was the middle classes – doubtless imbued with ideals of duty and self sacrifice – that came off worst!!

      • EUMESMOPO

        The 3rd class looks abysmal because you didn’t compare it to the ship’s crew survival rate.

        • That’s right, I only commented on the passengers. The comment by

          Georgina B was about the passenger survival rate. A fuller account is below:

          First of all, if you were a man, you were outta luck. The overall survival rate for men was 20%. For women, it was 74%, and for children, 52%. Yes, it was indeed “women and children first.”

          But what about class? Well, third class women were 41% more likely to survive than first class men. And third class men were twice as likely to survive as second class men.

          Yes, class is a far weaker variable in determining survival rate than sex or age. Indeed, most of the variance in first class vs. third class survival rates can be attributed to sex alone. The reason for this is simple: 44% of the first class passengers were women, while only 23% of the third class passengers were women. Because the survival rate for women was far greater than the survival rate for men, we would thus expect a much higher survival rate for first class passengers as a whole than for third class passengers as a whole.

          Although this analysis is incandescently obvious, it never seems to show up in mass media treatments of the Titanic disaster. Why is that?

          And sex and age differences aside, why would anyone be surprised that passengers in steerage would have a lower survival rate than passengers topside close to the boat deck? (For the findings of Lord Mersey’s Enquiry regarding the survival rate for third class passengers, see below under Lord Mersey’s Report.)

          The table to the right, Actual survival rates by sex, age, and class compared to expected survival rates based on sex and age alone, clarifies the variance in survival rates associated with (but not necessarily caused by) class. If sex and age were the only variables determining probability of survival, we would expect women in each class to have a 74.35% chance of survival, children to have a 52.29% chance, and men to have a 20% chance. Applying these percentages to the actual number of women, children, and men in each class, we compute the expected number of survivors. We then compute how that number varies from the actual number of survivors for that sex, age, and class category.

          This method shows that the expected overall survival rate for first class passengers was 44.68%, for second class 40.46%, for third class 36.32%, and for crew 21.38%. It also shows that the actual survival rate was 39.80% higher than expectation for first class as a whole, and 30.58% below expectation for third class as a whole.

          The more primitive approach — taken by most writers on this subject — is to divide the first-class overall survival rate (62.46%) by the overall average survival rate (31.97%), conclude that first-class passengers were twice as likely to survive as the average passenger, and attribute all this variance to class. The folly of this approach is obvious.

          This link, for the page from which I took the above, includes charts which illustrate survival rates broken down.
          http://www.anesi.com/titanic.htm

        • The asterisked out word is, oddly, gender. One would think it was s<3x.

  • Interesting list. Thanks!

    There always seem to be these stories, every time there is a disaster of this magnitude, of people who just missed being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is the other side of the coin, too, and just as interesting; those who weren’t supposed to be on the boat or on the flight or in the place but who, for reasons just as seemingly odd, ended up being there. That would be another interesting list.

  • Nicolelodeon

    I’m from Hershey, PA. Smells like chocolate everywhere.

  • jerry

    I think you forgot to mention the two men who lost their tickets in that card game with Jack Dawson.

  • Missy

    How convenient that these people who were well known in certain circles were not aboard this poor ill-fated ship. Not wanting to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but maybe they were forewarned not to board. BTW, JP Morgan and Alfred G Vanderbilt are definitely not nobodies in society. Good list, as always.

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    Add me to this list, I don’t recall boarding the Titanic.

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  • Mike Hunt

    “Thankful for his salvation, Reverend Holden also wrote on the envelope a passage from Psalm 103, verse 3, “Who Redeemeth Thy Life From Destruction.” This was Holden giving thanks not just for himself, but for all of those who, for what ever reason, did not board the Titanic.”

    Maybe he should have asked why god decided to kill 1400 people instead.

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  • L’Economa Domestica

    Also Guglielmo Marconi booked the trip on the Titanic, but gave up.

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  • Saxon

    I had family that were supposed to be on the titanic but didn’t get on for some reason

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  • Silas Mungo

    I’d be interested to know if there are any famous/notable people today who are descended from either survivors of the Titanic or people who where in the ‘Just Missed It’ Club. Bit of an ask, but you try that list.

  • Silas Mungo

    Oops. Meant to say you ‘could’ try that list and also meant to reply to vanowensbody.

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  • Ann

    Is there a list that has the top ten famous survivors?

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    what does explain this reason for 10 people who did not board the Titanic?
    http://djpreet.net/dj/community/poleneeya-joseph/profile

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  • Melody Barker

    I am so glad Mr. Hershey didnt go on that ill fated trip. Those of us who graduated from Milton Hershey School owe him a big thanks and many young men would have missed out on meeting him had he been on the Titanic.

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    I hate these kinds of pointless lists.

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  • Re Blair: Binoculars would not have helped. It was probably easier to see the iceberg without them. It was several things, not just one, that caused the disaster and high death toll:

    *Going too fast.

    *Shipping lanes too far north for that time of year.

    *Maritime law (since changed due to the Titanic disaster) stated the number of lifeboats were calculated by the gross tonnage of the ship, NOT by the number of people aboard.

    *Big-ass ship, little tiny rudder. Couldn’t turn fast enough.

    *Bulkheads in watertight compartments did not go all the way up, thus allowing spillover.

    *Turning the damn wireless off at night. This is no longer allowed. There were ships around that would have heard a distress call had their wireless been on. They must have felt like crap the next day when they found out what happened.

    *Letting passenger wireless messages take precedence over ice warnings.

    *Overconfidence.

    Carpathia tried so hard to go to the rescue. They couldn’t go fast enough. It took them four hours to reach Titanic but she sank in only two. Reports say the passengers were so kind to the survivors; they shared blankets and other necessities with them. The captain was a hero for busting his ass to get there, even if they didn’t make it in time.

    I can’t imagine how sad that whole thing must have been. It makes me sad just to think about it. It was such a beautiful ship, and everyone was so excited and hopeful about traveling on its maiden voyage. :'(

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  • Some interesting new information on the Titanic : http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/tit
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    I have to comment on this one! My great grand father and his wife, his mother in law bought tickets for the titanic, before boarding, his in law told him that if he boarded another ship he would get to the USA only three days earlier. Three days were not worth the big amount of money. And indeed he exchanged the tickets and boarded on another ship. In the US, they were expected to arrive on the Titanic, and after the tragic accident, his sister was devastated. Services were made for the great loss, and “the third day” they arrived to his sister’s home. Surprise was for both sides, since my grandpa was not aware of what happened to the titanic! I’m grateful to my great grandma’s economic sens!

    • Ilpostino

      Sorry I meant three days later

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