As the Mayflower was crossing the Atlantic in 1620, passenger John Howland was swept overboard during a storm. He managed to sieze a trailing halyard and was pulled back to safety. His descendants in the New World have included:

  • Franklin Roosevelt
  • George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Joseph Smith and Brigham Young
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Benjamin Spock
  • Sarah Palin
  • Chevy Chase
  • Christopher Lloyd
  • Alec Baldwin

If Howland had lost his life in that storm, none of these people would have existed.