Seven Famous People Who Missed the Titanic
The notables who planned to sail on the fateful voyage included a world-famous novelist, a radio pioneer and America’s biggest tycoons
- By Greg Daugherty
- Smithsonian magazine, March 2012
(Sault Ste. Marie Evening News)
Many families on both sides of the Atlantic have stories of relatives who might have been aboard the Titanic but, fortunately for future generations, missed the boat. Though only a small percentage of such tales may have much basis in reality, they are part of a long tradition.
In fact, within days of the disaster, newspapers were already remarking on the phenomenon. “ ‘JUST MISSED IT’ CLUB FORMED WITH 6,904 MEMBERS,” Michigan’s Sault Ste. Marie Evening News headlined an April 20, 1912 story, five days after the sinking. Later it quoted one Percival Slathersome, a presumably fictional artist, as saying, “I count it lucky that I didn’t have the price to go abroad this year. If all of us who ‘just missed it’ had got aboard the Titanic she would have sunk at the Liverpool dock from the overload.”
By the time Ohio’s Lima Daily News weighed in, on April 26, the club seems to have grown considerably. “Up to the present time the count shows that just 118,337 people escaped death because they missed the Titanic or changed their minds a moment before sailing time,” the newspaper observed.