25 Biggest Screw Ups That Completely Changed History

Posted by , Updated on June 28, 2017

We all make mistakes sometimes. The mistakes come in many different forms, and they have different consequences. Some of the mistakes people have made were actually so colossal they – in a way – eventually ended up changing the world. Winston Churchill once said that history is written by the victors, but as you will see in this post, it is not always the case. From the sinking of RMS Titanic to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, here are 25 Biggest Screw Ups That Completely Changed History.

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Blockbuster passing on acquiring Netflix

NetflixSource: businessinsider.com

In 2000, Reed Hastings approached former Blockbuster CEO John Antioco and asked for $50 million to give away the company he founded — Netflix. Antioco, thinking that it was a “very small niche business,” ended the negotiations and didn’t buy Netflix, which at the time, was only a DVD mailing service. Now Netflix — just short of being worth the same as CBS last year — soared past the television network owner with a $32.9 billion market valuation.


Blockbuster isn’t the only company to have made this type of mistake! Check out 25 Regrettable Corporate Facepalms You Probably Recall.


NASA orbiter lost due to metric mishap

NASA orbiterSource: edition.cnn.com, image: https://commons.wikimedia.org (public domain)

In 1999, NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency’s team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation.


NASA deleting footage of moon landing

moon landingSource: reuters.com, image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing (public domain)

Talking about NASA, there is another thing they are definitely not proud of. When they set out to look for their tapes of the iconic 1969 moon landing, they discovered that the tapes had been accidentally erased and re-used to save money. To create a new official version of the moon landing video, NASA had to track down the footage from TV stations around the world and digitally restore it.


Baker burning down London

London fireSource: Tinniswood via Wikipedia, image: https://commons.wikimedia.org (public domain: author's life + 100 yrs or less)

Just one year after the Great Plague of London that ravaged the city in 1665, Britain’s metropolis was hit by another disaster as a baker Thomas Farriner got distracted somehow, and his bakery on Pudding Lane caught on fire. The fire soon spread to other parts of the city, eventually leading to the destruction of over 13,200 houses and 87 churches.


Julius Caesar going to senate

Julius CaesarSource: The Murder of Caesar and Political Assassination via wikipedia, image: https://de.wikipedia.org (public domain: author's life + 100 yrs or less)

Caesar was warned by his wife not to go to senate, but the Roman politician, famous for his arrogance, went there on 15 March, 44 BC anyway. Unfortunately for him, he ended up being stabbed to death by about 60 members of the senate, including his best friend Brutus.

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