The Journal of HistorySpring 2009TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Astor Family

Author Unknown

Some say the Titanic was sunk by a bomb or deliberately sabotaged. Astor was on the ship, and he wanted to develop free energy with Tesla. Astor was the world's richest man; he opposed the Treasury and WWI so when he went down with Guggenheim in the Titanic, the Treasury was formed within a year. Coincidence?

John Jacob Astor IV, Benjamin Guggenheim, Macy's department store owner Isidor Straus, all drowned at sea.

Isidor Straus (February 6, 1845 – April 15, 1912)—also known as Isadore Strauss—, a German Jewish American, was co-owner of the Macy's department store with his brother Nathan. He also served as a Member of Congress in the United States. He and his wife, Ida, died on board the RMS Titanic. Member of the New York and New Jersey Bridge Commission

Because the Titanic was considered unsinkable it carried the miniumum number of lifeboats. The great ship, at that time the largest and most luxurious afloat, was designed and built by William Pirrie's Belfast firm, Harland and Wolff, to service the highly competitive Atlantic Ferry route. It had a double-bottomed hull that was divided into 16 presumably watertight compartments. She sank on that "Fatal Night" at 2.20 a.m. on Monday April 15th, 1912 on her maiden voyage with the loss of 1,523 lives after she brushed against an iceberg.

Uncanny, but true!

At the moment the Titanic hit the iceberg, the silent version of the film The Poseidon Adventure was being screened aboard ship.

In 1898 (14 years before the Titanic sunk), American author Morgan Robertson published a short fictional novel entitled Futility. The novel featured the misadventure of a British ship named "Titan."

Did the book predict the Titanic disaster?

The fictional ship Titan is eerily similar to the yet-to-be conceived Titanic in size, speed, equipment, numbers of passengers (both rich and poor), and those lost.

Both ships were British and sailed in April with a top speed of 24 knots. They had the same passenger and crew capacity of 3,000 but sailed with a little over 2,000. Also they were between 800 and 900 feet long and driven with triple propellers. Each also sank 95 miles south of Greenland. Here's the most astonishing fact: both ships sank after being pierced by an iceberg on their starboard side.

Robertson's book tells the story of a large triple-screw luxury ocean liner named the Titan. The Titan was the largest ship afloat with the best in modern technology, including 19 watertight bulkheads, causing it to be widely regarded as unsinkable. The Titan was also the largest ocean liner built, at a length of 800 feet, a weight of 45,000 gross tons, and a capacity of 3000 people. It had just set off on a voyage across the North Atlantic, carrying many wealthy and affluent passengers.

Moving at her full speed of 24 knots through cold waters on an icy April night, the Titan collided with an iceberg on the fore-starboard side close to midnight, tearing gashes in the ship below the waterline. The Titan lacked enough lifeboats for all of those aboard, and eventually sank resulting in a tremendous loss of life, despite the watertight compartments. There were few survivors.

The fictional Titan was an 800 foot-long triple-screw steamer, while the Titanic was 882.5 feet long, also a triple screw steamer. Both had a capacity of 3000 people. The Titan weighed about 45,000 gross tons, and the Titanic weighed in at 46,328. The Titan had 19 watertight compartments, and the Titanic had 15. Because of these compartments, both ships were regarded as unsinkable. The Titan and the Titanic carried wealthy and well known passengers. Both the Titan and the Titanic struck an iceberg on a cold April night while crossing the North Atlantic, causing damage to the forward starboard section. The Titan hit the iceberg "close to midnight," while the Titanic collided with its iceberg at 11:40pm. Both ships lacked enough lifeboats to save all aboard, causing great loss of life.

With all of these obvious similarities, you might think that Robertson 'borrowed' the story of the Titanic for his book, but in that theory there is just one problem:

Futility Robertson's fictional account of the Titan was written in 1898 - fourteen years before the Titanic sank in 1912!!!

John Jacob Astor IV (July 13, 1864 – April 15, 1912) was an American millionaire businessman, real estate builder, inventor, writer, a member of the prominent Astor family, and a lieutenant colonel in the Spanish-American War. He died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912.


John Jacob Astor IV was born to William Backhouse Astor, Jr. and Caroline Webster Schermerhorn. John Jacob IV was the great–grandson of John Jacob Astor whose fortune, made in fur trade and real estate, made the Astor family one of the wealthiest in the United States.


Astor attended St Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire and later attended Harvard University. In 1891, Astor married Ava Lowle Willing, a Philadelphia socialite. Together they had two children, but were divorced in 1909.

Early career

Among Astor's accomplishments was A Journey in Other Worlds, an 1894 science fiction novel titled about a fictional account of life in the year 2000 on the planets Saturn and Jupiter. He also patented several inventions, including a bicycle brake in 1898, a "vibratory disintegrator" used to produce gas from peat moss, a pneumatic road–improver, and helped develop a turbine engine. Astor made millions in real estate and in 1897, Astor built the Astoria Hotel, "the world’s most luxurious hotel" [1], which adjoined Astor’s cousin, William Waldorf Astor's, Waldorf Hotel in New York City; the complex became known as the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

In 1898 Astor was appointed a lieutenant colonel of a U.S. volunteers battalion he financed in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. During this time he allowed his yacht, the Nourmahal, to be used by the U.S. government. During the war Colonel Astor appeared in the films President McKinley's Inspection of Camp Wikoff in 1898 and Col. John Jacob Astor, Staff and Veterans of the Spanish–American War in 1899.


In 1891, John Jacob Astor married Ava Lowle Willing. The couple had two children William Vincent Astor, born in 1891 and Ava Alice Muriel Astor, born in 1902 before their divorce in 1909. Astor's wife, Ava, reportedly had an affair during their marriage, resulting in the birth of daughter Ava. Since no evidence has been found to support the claim, it is assumed that Ava Alice was fathered by Astor. Since divorce was considered a scandal back then, all in high class society were shocked when Astor announced that he would marry again.

At the age of 47, the divorced Astor was married a second time to 18-year–old Madeleine Talmadge Force on September 9, 1911 in his mother's ballroom at Beechwood, the family's Newport, Rhode Island home. He had been divorced two years earlier, and Madeleine was a year younger than Astor's son, Vincent. The couple took an extended honeymoon in Europe and Egypt to wait for the scandalous gossip to calm down. Among the few Americans of the socialite class who did not spurn him at this time was Molly Brown, better known to posterity as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." She accompanied the Astors to Egypt and France and, by coincidence, was called home to the U.S. at the same time the Astors also found it necessary to abbreviate their touring.

While traveling Madeleine became pregnant, and wanting the child born in the United States, the Astors booked first–class passage on the RMS Titanic which they boarded at Cherbourg, France.


John Jacob Astor was the wealthiest passenger on board the Titanic and, as well as his wife, his party included his servant, his wife's maid and nurse, and his pet Airedale, Kitty. At 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912 the Titanic hit an iceberg and began sinking. At first Astor did not believe the ship was in any serious danger, but later he helped his wife into a lifeboat. He asked if he could join her, mentioning her "delicate condition," but the officer in charge told him not until all the women and children were away. Astor reportedly stood back and asked for the lifeboat number, then, after lighting a cigarette, he tossed his gloves to Madeleine. She survived.

John Jacob Astor IV's body was recovered by the steamer Mackay-Bennett on April 22 not far from the sinking:


CLOTHING - Blue serge suit; blue handkerchief with "A.V."; belt with gold buckle; brown boots with red rubber soles; brown flannel shirt; "J.J.A." on back of collar.

EFFECTS - Gold watch; cuff links, gold with diamond; diamond ring with three stones; £225 in English notes; $2440 in notes; £5 in gold; 7s. in silver; 5 ten franc pieces; gold pencil; pocketbook.


Reports say his body was covered in soot and blood, thus it is assumed he was killed by the first funnel when it collapsed as the Titanic made its final plunge. He was identified by the initials sewn on the label of his jacket. Among the items found on him was a gold pocket watch which his son, Vincent, claimed and wore the rest of his life. Astor was buried in Trinity Church Cemetery in New York City. On August 14, 1912, his second son, John Jacob Astor VI was born.[3]


John Jacob Astor's prominence made his actions while the Titanic was sinking legendary. Many exaggerated and unsubstantiated accounts about what Astor did the night Titanic sank appeared in newspapers, books and magazines after the disaster. There was a story that he was the one who opened Titanic's kennel and released the dogs; another story has Astor putting a woman's hat on a boy to make sure he was able to get into a lifeboat. Another legend states that after the ship hit the iceberg, he quipped, "I asked for ice, but this is ridiculous."

Astor's fame has made him an often used character in films about Titanic. William Johnstone played Astor in the 1953 film Titanic, and in the 1997 version of Titanic he was played by Eric Braeden, who was picked for his strong resemblance to Astor. In the 1997 film, he is killed when the Grand Staircase's dome breaks, flooding the entire room. In the 1996 miniseries, he was played by Scott Hylands.

Ava Lowle Willing was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Edward Shippen Willing (?-1906) and his wife, the former Alice Barton.[1] She had two siblings, Susan Ridgway Willing (Mrs. Francis Cooper Lawrence, Jr.) and John Rhea Barton Willing. She was a descendant of Edward Shippen, the second mayor of Philadelphia and a chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

She married John Jacob Astor IV in February of 1891 in Philadelphia. The newlywed couple was given, among many lavish gifts, a furnished townhouse on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Though the marriage was tumultuous, the Astors had two children, William Vincent (b. Nov 15, 1891) and Ava Alice Muriel (b. February 1902). The latter child reportedly was the child of an affair Ava Astor had with a New York society figure surnamed Hatch.

On November 19, 1909, Ava Astor sued her husband for divorce and March 5, 1910 the State of New York decreed in her favor.[2] Their son lived with his father before leaving to attend Harvard College. Their daughter would be raised by her mother. In the second year of Vincent's education, John Jacob became one of the RMS Titanic casualties while returning from his honeymoon with his new bride, Madeleine Talmadge Force. This event left young Vincent as one of the wealthiest men in the United States.

In 1911, Ava Astor and her daughter moved to England where she would become the second wife of Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale, in 1919. Lord Ribblesdale died on October 21, 1925. Ava had no children from her second marriage, and she did not remarry. Though she reclaimed her American citizenship after returning to the United States and announced to the press that she would be known as Mrs. Ribblesdale, she nonetheless continued to be known by her former title.

Lady Ribblesdale died on June 9, 1958 in New York City.[3] She left a token bequest to her son, Vincent, but the bulk of her estate was left to her daughter's four children: Prince Serge Obolensky, Princess Sylvia von Hoffmannsthal, Romana von Hoffmannsthal, and Emily Harding.

Prince Serge Obolensky (October 3, 1890 - September 29, 1978) was a Russian Prince and Vice Chairman of the Board of Hilton Hotels Corporation.


He was the son of Platon Obolensky and Marie Narishkin. He married Czar Alexander II of Russia's daughter, Catherine Alexandrovna Romanov Yurievsky (1878-1959).[1] He divorced Catherine and then Obolensky married Ava Alice Muriel Astor on July 24, 1924.[2] He was a solder in two wars and in the Russian revolution. He was a Lt. Colonel in the U. S. paratroopers and a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA, and made his first 5 jumps in 1943 and the age of 53. He captured Sardinia with the crew of 3 in 1943. In 1958, he was Vice Chairman of the Board of Hilton Hotels Corporation. Later in life, Obolensky married Marilyn Wall of Grosse Pointe, Michigan.[2]

He died in 1978.[3]

Mystery Made of Astor-Obolensky Wedding; Announced for Yesterday, Did Not Take Place

By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
July 18, 1924, Friday

Ava Alice Muriel Astor (July 27, 1902 - July 19, 1956) was the daughter of John Jacob Astor IV and sister of Vincent Astor. She married Prince Serge Obolensky in 1924.[1] [2][3]. After their divorce she married David Pleydell-Bouverie, grandson of William Pleydell-Bouverie, 5th Earl of Radnor. Bouverie, an architect, later designed and built a home for M.F.K. Fisher Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher on his ranch near Glen Ellen, California.

After I surveyed the nature center, we strolled down the hill and Ms. Trbovich unlocked the door to Mr. Bouverie's hacienda.

She led me through high-ceilinged rooms filled with touches from the historic homes where the owner (a grandson of the fifth Earl of Radnor) spent his childhood: rich fabrics, formal portraits, glittering chandeliers. Gleaming copperware and gilt-framed landscapes caught the light in the moss-green kitchen. Outside was a pool that perfectly mimicked a pond; it was framed by trellises trailing wisteria.

Socially eclectic, Mr. Bouverie (who was divorced from Alice Astor) entertained friends including the Queen of Jordan and Maya Angelou in Glen Ellen. After he wrote a note introducing himself in 1968, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, the author and culinary seer Fisher invited him to lunch at her Victorian house in St. Helena — a jasmine-scented town in the Napa Valley. Her two daughters were grown, and she was ready to streamline her life; two years later, she proposed building on his compound.

Fisher lent Mr. Bouverie $39,400 to build what she called “a shack” inspired by her “eccentric specifications.” He gave her domed redwood ceilings, black tile floors and a decadent bathroom the size of a second bedroom: its Chinese-red walls served as her art gallery.

The ranch where Last House sits is different now. In 1979, the author's friend David Pleydell-Bouverie, an architect, donated the 535-acre property to the Audubon Society. Since his death in 1994, bobcats, gray foxes and rattlesnakes have roamed freely at the Bouverie Preserve of Audubon Canyon Ranch, but humans must tread carefully.

Historical Highlights: Legislation Passed

For 100 years, Audubon has set the standard for conservation, advocating tirelessly for public policy to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitat. Here are some of the ways we have helped to make a difference.

1901 Audubon Model Law: William Dutcher, chairman of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) Committee on Bird Protection, acts on behalf of the state Audubon Societies. He assists Florida Audubon in persuading the state legislature to pass the Audubon Model Law, outlawing plume hunting in the state.

1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act: President Wilson signs the historic law enforcing provisions of the treaty. It is the landmark law for protecting wild American birds.

1964 Wilderness Act: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Wilderness Act, designating 9 million acres of roadless area as protected wilderness. Audubon's lobbying efforts, led by Charles Callison, are key to this campaign.

1966 National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act: The first “organic act” for the National Wildife Refuge System establishes a primary mission of the Refuge System and outlines a process for determining compatible uses of refuges.

1968 National Wild & Scenic Rivers, National Trails Acts: Congress establishes a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System for the protection of rivers with important scenic, recreational, fish and wildlife, and other values.

1970 First Earth Day, Clean Air Act, National Environmental Policy Acts: The public's environmental consciousness is at an all-time high, and numerous groundbreaking environmental laws come out of the ferment.

1972 EPA bans DDT: The decades-long struggle over the persistent pesticide ends with a federal ban on most of its uses in the U.S.

1973 Endangered Species Act: Congress establishes safety net for birds and wildlife on the brink of extinction, such as the Bald Eagle.

Land and Water Management Act and Water Resources Act: The Legislature enacts these laws which become the basis for water management districts, and land use protection, including designation of the Florida Keys, Big Cypress and Green Swamp as Areas of Critical Concern.

1978 Manatee Protection Act: Audubon's campaign to protect the West Indian manatee succeeds.

1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act: Congress passes the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, creating the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but leaves a 1.5-million-acre area of the coastal plain considered by many the "biological heart" of the refuge.

1981 Save Our Rivers and Save Our Coasts: Programs are approved by the Legislature.

1987 Surface Water Improvement and Management Act: [SWIM] is approved by the Legislature.

1990 Preservation 2000: This model land acquisition program is approved by the Legislature with Audubon support.

1996 Farm Bill: Congress approves the Farm Bill with $200 million for Everglades restoration: Vice President Al Gore, Jr. announces the Clinton Administration's $1.2 billion Everglades Restoration Plan.

1997 National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act: Establishes for the first time a “wildlife first” mission for the National Wildlife Refuge System, directing America’s wildlife refuges to be managed in order to preserve their biological integrity while providing opportunities for public use such as birdwatching, hunting, and fishing.

"Save Our Everglades" amendments: Voters approve two of the three, calling for a "Polluter Must Pay" requirement concerning Everglades pollution.

2000 Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act: Congress approves this act which establishes a matching grants program to fund projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, helping to assist and perpetuate healthy populations of neotropical migratory birds.

2001 Roadless Rule: This ruling protects 58.5 million acres of wild national forests from most commercial logging and road-building. However, this rule is currently in jeopardy under the Bush Administration, putting these last wild forests at immediate risk.

2003 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: (ANWR) protected from oil and gas drilling. Audubon grassroots activists help defeat a legislative attempt to open the coastal plains of ANWR to oil and and gas drilling and development. However, there is yet to be permanent protection.

Global warming is the biggest environmental threat of our lifetime. The time to act is now!

Editor's note: Nonsense. Global warming is such a scam that people have begun to realize it necessitating the name being changed to Climate Change in an attempt to confuse people once again.

According to the latest United Nations scientific report, leading scientists around the world agree that man-made greenhouse gases from fossil fuels are causing global warming. Effects are already being seen worldwide. And long-term consequences are devastating, pointing to a darker future each day we fail to act.

Editor's note: Oil is not a fossil fuel. See the 19th edition for documentation of that fact.

But if each of us takes action — in our homes, in our communities, and in our nation — there is still time to reduce global warming pollution and help safeguard our environment for birds, wildlife, and our children.

Confronting the greatest environmental crisis in our history will take commitment, dedication, and even sacrifice — but nothing less than the future is at stake. Audubon has joined with the Alliance for Climate Protection to call on all Americans to take action. The Alliance TV spot make it clear that WE are the solution.

The We Campaign is a project of The Alliance for Climate Protection -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore, Jr. The goal of the Alliance is to build a movement that creates the political will to solve the climate crisis -- in part through repowering America with 100 per cent of its electricity from clean energy sources within 10 years. Our economy, national security, and climate can’t afford to wait.

Please continue onto the next link to learn which organizations and people support the myth of global warming.



The Journal of History - Spring 2009 Copyright © 2009 by News Source, Inc.