Mr Harrison was Mr Ismay’s personal valet and the collection includes a four page letter he wrote home to his wife Ann Harrison about how he was “fed up” with spending hours writing letters to post for Mr Ismay. Days after the tragedy Mr Ismay wrote to Mrs Harrison via telegram: “Words fail to express my sorrow at your terrible loss. “Am overwhelmed by this frightful calamity.”
Once Halloween season kicks in, it is inevitable you get stories with a supernatural tilt to it. The folks who run the Scottsdale, Arizona Titanic Exhibit are no exception. For the Halloween season they are adding a “ghost walk.” According to AzFamily, on select days “visitors can walk around the haunted galleries and hear the ghost stories from the exhibit’s staff about the artifacts.” Apparently there have been claims of spirits and other things alleged to have occurred at the exhibit. A local psychic is also going to be on hand to add more ambience to the event. About the only thing missing is a ouija board.
Source: Scottsdale Titanic Exhibit Near Scottsdale To Feature The Ghost Walk (AzFamily.com, 10/8/19)
BBC News is reporting that a cross made from Titanic wood is up for auction. It was made by Samuel Smith who was aboard the recovery ship S.S.Minia. Wood from Titanic was used by Smith to fashion a cross in honor of the victims.
Source: Wooden cross made from Titanic oak to be auctioned (BBC, 8 Oct 2019)
On this date in 1871, what became known as the Great Chicago Fire began and would last till 10 October. The fire began around 9 pm on October 6 possibly at a barn owned by the O’leary family or in the nearby area southwest of city center. It consumed a shed on that farm and then spread outward. Due to a period of hot, dry and windy conditions, the fire would spread rapidly. With homes and buildings built mostly of wood, it also provided fuel for the fire as well.
The fire leapt the south branch of the Chicago River destroying central Chicago. It leapt across the main river branch and consumed the north side as well. 300 people were killed and a large swath of the city (about 3.3 square miles) was destroyed. 100,000 people were left homeless because of the fire. After the fire help poured in from all over the country and internationally as well. Money from Great Britain helped build the Chicago Public Library that would be free to everyone.
The aftermath brought reconsideration of many things particularly in the area of building construction. Fire prevention became a big topic and construction of brick rather than wood buildings would result. With the right infrastructure in place, it would prevent such a catastrophe from happening again. Rebuilding began right away with higher standards and sometimes with buildings that were considered better than the ones that burned down.
History.com, Great Chicago Fire
Never-Before-Seen Photos of the ‘Titanic’ Set the Scene at This Castle Hotel’s New Bar (Robb Report, 3 Oct 2019)
While post-Titanic, Browne went on to become known as one of the most important Irish photographers of the early 20th-century, documenting everything from the rigors of daily country life to the European trenches of World War I, he didn’t have the means to pay for the high cost of developing all of his film. So when the current owner of Lough Eske Castle (who also owns the Titanic Hotel Belfast) purchased a set of Browne’s old trunks at auction a few years back, he found inside numerous rolls of undeveloped film—which, now processed and remastered, form the basis for the largest private collection of Father Browne images.
Top Destinations For The Titanic Enthusiast (Travel Pulse, 5 Oct 2019)
After over a hundred years of stories and legends of page, stage and film, the ship continues to captivate generations, particularly travelers eager to visit the cities that figure prominently in Titanic’s story. Situated in both Europe and North America, here are some major sites for the Titanic enthusiast to visit during their travels.
Happy Sunday everyone.
Harland and Wolff employees have gone back to work after the closure-threatened shipyard was sold. There were cheers as the remaining staff walked through the gates in Belfast at 9am. Workers launched a campaign after the shipyard was placed into administration over the summer.
Belfast Titanic Memorial Garden (Atlas Obscura)
In honor of the 22 local men who died in the Titanic disaster, the sculpture is 22 feet high (including the plinth), and features small water fountains, gargoyle-type creatures, and inscriptions on all sides. The local victims are listed by rank, starting with Thomas Andrews, the ship’s architect and the managing director of Harland and Wolff.
Since it is Friday, time to relax and kick back a little. And with Halloween approaching, perhaps a nod in that direction with Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Have a nice Friday everyone.
Titanic Builder Harland And Wolff Thrown Lifeline In £6m Deal (Financial Times, 1 Oct 2019)
Harland and Wolff, the Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic, has been saved from collapse after UK energy infrastructure group InfraStrata agreed a £6m deal to buy the struggling business from administrators. InfraStrata said the agreement would save the jobs of the remaining 79 Harland and Wolff workers who did not opt for voluntary redundancy earlier this year.
Titanic Survivor’s Famous Walking Cane Valued At Over $100,000 (JustCollecting, 1 Oct 2019)
A walking cane which survived the sinking of the Titanic is expected to sell for more more than $100,000 when it goes up for auction this month. The cane, which features an electric light in the tip, was used by passenger Ella Holmes White to signal to other lifeboats after the ship sank on April 15, 1912, killing more than 1,500 people. The historic cane will now be offered on October 19 at Henry Aldridge & Son, a world-renowned auction house which specializes in Titanic artifacts.
Poignant Photograph Of Two Passengers Taken On Board The Titanic As The Doomed Liner Set Off On Maiden Voyage Is Set To Go Under The Hammer (Daily Mail, 1 Oct 2019)
Photograph taken by a passenger on board the Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage is being put up for auction as part of a collection worth an estimated £6,000. The poignant image was taken by a first-class passenger who was stood on the boat deck as Titanic crossed the Solent about an hour after slipping its mooring. Father Francis Browne leant over the railing to capture the pilot boat leaving Titanic for the last time having picked up harbour pilot George Bowyer.
October is the 10th month on both the old Julian and newer Gregorian calendar. It is the first full month of Autumn where harvests are being done and in the old days people began to make ready for the coming of winter. The southern hemisphere though October is the first full month of spring. Harvest festivals are common at this time of year along with popular ones such as the German Oktoberfest.
Also for sports fans in the US you see the popular sports of basketball, American football, and baseball converge on the calendar. Football is kicking into gear, basketball is starting up and baseball enters its championship phase culminating with the World Series.
Of course the big day is Halloween on October 31st. Sadly it falls on a Thursday meaning kids have to be home early and back to school the next day. Halloween decorations are out there and of course scary movies are in demand again. October has as its flower the Calendula and the birthstone is the opal.
With German control over their portion of Poland now complete, the elimination of Jews and others began in earnest. To facilitate this, special task forces called Einsatgruppen were charged with carrying out the liquidation in occupied countries. They oversaw the implementation of the Final Solution (Die Endlosung). At the ravine near Kiev called Babi Yar would take place one one of the most documented massacres of Jews during World War 2. Between 29-30 September 1941, 33,741 Jews were exterminated by Nazi’s and their collaborators. One of the reasons for the exterminations is retaliation for Soviet explosives that caused damage to the city and to the army headquarters in that area.
Orders were issued and posted in numerous languages on 26 September 1941:
All Yids of the city of Kiev and its vicinity must appear on Monday, September 29, by 8 o’clock in the morning at the corner of Mel’nikova and Dokterivskaya streets (near the Viis’kove cemetery). Bring documents, money and valuables, and also warm clothing, linen, etc. Any Yids who do not follow this order and are found elsewhere will be shot. Any civilians who enter the dwellings left by Yids and appropriate the things in them will be shot.
Jews were led to believe they were being resettled and believed it right up to the end. They were driven to a designated area where they passed through several stages before arriving at Babi Yar itself. At each stage they had to surrender luggage, valuables, and later their clothing. A special pile was kept for everything collected. Men, women and children were led to Babi Yar and then gunned down by machine gun fire. Most did not know at first what was happening since the crowd was so large. And it happened quickly. Ukrainian nationals would force anyone who attempted to linger to move on with swift kicks and threats of more violence. There was no chance to escape. They were driven down into a corridor of soldiers where they were killed 10 at a time.
“Once undressed, they were led into the ravine which was about 150 metres long and 30 metres wide and a good 15 metres deep … When they reached the bottom of the ravine they were seized by members of the Schutzpolizei and made to lie down on top of Jews who had already been shot … The corpses were literally in layers. A police marksman came along and shot each Jew in the neck with a submachine gun … I saw these marksmen stand on layers of corpses and shoot one after the other … The marksman would walk across the bodies of the executed Jews to the next Jew, who had meanwhile lain down, and shoot him.” (quote from Wikipedia. Source: Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, this edition 2006, pp. 97–98.)
Money and valuables taken from Jews were handed over to local ethnic Germans or to local German authorities. Those that were wounded or still alive were shot. One notable survivor, Dina Pronicheva, played dead and was spared to escape later. There are 29 known survivors. The identities of those killed at Babi Yar is still ongoing. The SS would cover the area with earth to cover up the bodies. Mass executions would continue until the day the Germans were forced to withdraw in 1943.
Gilbert, Martin The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War. Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1985
Snyder, Louis Dr. Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, Marlowe & Company, New York 1976