Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Iceman Cometh


Today in 1912 was a famous day for parting words.

John Jacob Astor, the American industrialist who was the richest man in the world at the time, was a passenger on the Titanic with his new young bride. The couple was about to step into a lifeboat when Astor gave up his seat to a female passenger. He was one of the 1500 that perished when the ship sank. Astor's last words were:

"Goodbye, dearie, I'll see you later."

Captain Robert Falcon Scott, the famed British explorer, reached the South Pole on Jan. 18, 1912, only to find that they'd been beaten there by a party led by Roald Admundsen. On their return trip to their base camp, the entire party died.

"Had we lived," Scott wrote in his diary, "I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale.."