An existential accident

Lord Howard de Walden, landlord to many eminent figures in the medical profession and last of the great British racehorse owner-breeders, has died, aged 86.

He inherited 120 acres of London’s west end and bred and owned the 1985 Derby winner, Slip Anchor. But the story he loved to dine out on was when, as a young Cambridge student fresh out of Eton, he was driving a new car in Munich when a man walked out in front of him and was knocked down. “He was only shaken up,” recalled de Walden. “But had I killed him, it would have changed the history of the world.” The man was Adolf Hitler.

This is the lead-in to an article published Sun 11 Jul 1999…just after Lord Howard’s death. And think what this autobiographical note means to the world unchanged.

If the event had changed the course of the world, we wouldn’t know that it had. The event might not be worth a mention in the life of a British aristocrat.

3 thoughts on “An existential accident

  1. What if says:

    Edward F. Cantasano (1905~1989) was an unemployed mechanic from Yonkers who, on December 13, 1931, accidentally hit the future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, while driving a car. Churchill was on a lecture tour and attempting to cross a busy New York City street at the time, and forgot to look in the direction of the oncoming traffic.
    The British statesman suffered a serious scalp wound as well as two cracked ribs and was admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he later told police that the accident was entirely his fault.

    …then there’s that time the Navy almost blew up President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (along with U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull and the top brass of the entire United States military) before he met with Churchill and Joseph Stalin in Tehran and arranged to open a second front against Nazi Germany.

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