Sunday Titanic: Titanic Survivor Shipwrecked Again; Remembering Young Titanic Victim

Collapsible lifeboat D photographed by passenger on Carpathia on the morning of 15 April 1912.
Public Domain(Wikipedia)

Feeling Lucky? This Lady Survived The Titanic And Then Went Down On The Rohilla Off Whitby (Darlington & Stockton Times, 6 Aug 2022)

Mary worked as a stewardess on the large vessels belonging to the White Star Line and, on April 15, 1912, with her youngest daughter Daisy aged six back home, she was on the Titanic when it struck the iceberg. Mary quickly clambered aboard lifeboat 11, was picked up by Carpathia after a few hours bobbing around, and was dropped off at New York on April 18, 1912. Before the year was out, she was working aboard another White Star liner, Majestic, and in 1914 when war broke out, she was transferred to HMHS Rohilla. Two-and-a-half years after surviving the sinking of the Titanic off the coast of America, she survived the wreck of the Rohilla off Whitby.

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Young Victim Of Titanic Tragedy Remembered (Tavistock Times Gazette, 6 Aug 2022)

At the time, Harry’s death was reported by the Western Morning News in 1912 describing Rogers as a ‘smart and steady young fellow’, whilst also stating that ‘both mother and grandmother are in much distress, fearing the worst.’ Harry’s mother remained living in Devon until 1955 when she died. Unfortunately, Harry’s body was never recovered and his death is now remembered on the Tavistock grave. The family vault is situated in Plymouth Road Cemetery with Harry’s name listed on his father’s tombstone.

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The 110-Year-Old Titanic Violin That Miraculously Survived The Sinking Ship (ClassicFM.com, 5 Aug 2022)

Despite some reports to the contrary, there is no evidence that his violin was found strapped to his chest in its case. We do know, however, that it must have been recovered, along with a satchel embossed with Hartley’s initials, as a telegram transcript from Maria Robinson to the Provincial Secretary of Nova Scotia reads, ‘I would be most grateful if you could convey my heartfelt thanks to all who have made possible the return of my late fiancé’s violin’. When Robinson died in 1939, her sister gave the violin to the Bridlington Salvation Army, who passed it on to a violin teacher. The teacher passed it on further, and in 2004 it was rediscovered in an attic in the UK.

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Straus Memorial Park, New York City, 1915. This memorial and park was dedicated on 15 April 1915.
Photo:Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress, Bain Collection,call number LC-B2- 3446-4)

The Heartbreaking Story Of Ida Straus, The Woman Who Went Down With The Titanic Rather Than Leave Her Husband Behind (Allthatsinteresting.com, 3 Aug 2022)

The couple married in 1871. Isidor worked for his father’s business — L. Straus & Sons — which was a pottery brand that later integrated into the glass and china department at Macy’s. He worked hard, eventually all the way up to being a co-owner of the entire Macy’s chain. Ida Straus was both a housewife and a very busy mother, as the couple had seven children together. (One son, Clarence, died around the age of two.) Even though Isidor also had his hands full with work — in addition to his duties serving as a member of the U.S. Congress for a year — the couple was said to be particularly close.

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Find books  on Wallace Hartley Titanic Musicians

The Case of Lizzie Borden (4 Aug 1892)

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks;
And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.

 

The sensational murder trial of Lizzie Borden would galvanize the nation but ended up in her acquittal in 1893.

Lizzie Borden
Circa 1889, photographer unknown
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Lizzie Borden and her older sister Emma were the daughters of a well-to-do businessman Andrew Borden of Fall River, Massachusetts. Their mother died when they were young, and he married Abby Gray who ended up raising them to adulthood. Their father, though wealthy, was not liked by a lot of people in the community. He was seen as both parsimonious (a fancy word meaning excessively frugal) and dour. Both daughters grew to dislike their stepmother believing she was trying to enrich herself over their father’s money. Lizzie was well liked in the community and involved in charitable works. Both daughters helped manager their father’s properties.

On Thursday 4 August 1892, Andrew Borden left home to conduct business. In the home was the maid Bridget Sullivan, his wife Abby, and his daughter Lizzie. Emma was out of the home on business of her own. Andrew would return later than morning and lie down on the couch to take a nap. Lizzie would him dead on the couch around 11:15 am. His head had been repeatedly hit by a sharp object and there was considerable amount of blood. Police were summoned and it was during this time it was discovered the stepmother was found dead face down in the guest room. Her head had been horribly mutilated. Police interviewed Lizzie but she gave conflicting statements. A search of the basement found two hatchets, two axes, and a hatchet-head with a broken handle with the latter the suspected murder weapon. It appeared to have been coated with ash and other things to make it look like it had not been used for a while.

The police failed to make a full search of the house at the time. Lizzie went to stay with a friend of her sister. Later she was seen by a police officer detailed to guard the house entering the cellar with this friend and seemed to be hunched over a sink. The police learned that Lizzie had tried to get hydrocyanic acid in a diluted form from a drugstore. There had been a recent mysterious illness in the home that raised the possibility of poisoning. Both bodies were tested and found no poison in them. The illness may have been food poisoning from contaminated meet rather than a deliberate poisoning. However, since Andrew Borden was not well liked, his wife had suspected that perhaps someone in Fall River had poisoned them.

The police focused on Lizzie Borden as the likely suspect due to her contradictory statements, the attempt to purchase a poison, the burning of a dress, and the hatchet-head that was found during a more through search later on. She would be arrested and formally indicted in December 1892. However, her trial would not begin until June 1893. Just before her trial started, another sensational murder done with an axe occurred. It bore striking similarities to the Borden case but a suspect was caught and arrested. It was on the minds of many in the courtroom when the trial started.

Unfortunately for the prosecution, all the evidence they had was circumstantial. There was no direct proof she had handled the axe that killed the Borden parents. Nor was the burning of a dress she said had been covered in paint as well proof she committed murder as well. While everyone knew she and her sister did not like her stepmother much, proving she had done the murders was hard to do. The police had failed to gather any fingerprints. This had become more common especially in Europe, but the local police didn’t believe in its use. So, they lacked any fingerprint evidence that might have helped in prosecuting Lizzie Borden. And the jury as a result acquitted her on 20 June 1893 since the evidence was not strong enough to convict on.

Lizzie Borden would continue to live in Fall River for the rest of her life, though in a different home with her sister Emma. Both sisters, after all the probate was concluded, received their inheritance from their father’s estate. Lizzie changed her name to Lizbeth A. Borden. The new home they moved into was more modern and they also have live -in servants and a coachman. Fall River mostly ostracized her and apparently had little involvement in the community afterwards. Her sister Emma would move out in 1905 after they argued over a party Lizbeth held for an actress. Emma would never see her sister again. Both sisters remand reclusive until they both died. Lizbeth died of pneumonia on 1 June 1927. Emma died 9 days later at her home in New Hampshire from chronic nephritis as a result of a fall she suffered ironically on the day her sister died. Both are buried in the family plot at the Oak River Cemetery in Fall River.

Speculation over the murders continues to this day with Lizzie the prime suspect. Motivations for the murders, aside from disliking the stepmother are many. Highly speculative theories exist without much or any proof offered. There is an unproven allegation that the maid on her death bed many years later that she had changed her testimony to help Borden. John Morse, Lizzie’s maternal uncle, was sleeping in the house the night before, was also considered a suspect by the police but had an alibi that disproved in their eyes he was the murderer. The maid Bridget Sullivan is considered a suspect as well. It is thought she may have gotten angry with them over tasks they asked her to do and killed them. One author has suggested it was William Borden, Andrew Borden’s illegitimate son who had tried to extort money from his father Emma too is considered a possibility as she secretly snuck into the house, killed her parents, and then quickly returned to Fairhaven to receive the telegram of her parents’ murders.

The Borden House still stands as both a museum and a bed and breakfast. The Fall River Historical Society has pieces of evidence used in the trial at the Fall River Historical Society.

 

Sources


Etiquette in Titanic movie; Tacky Titanic Alert;Titanic Wreck Footage

 

Poster Advertising Vinolia Otto Soap for Titanic
Image:Public Domain

Expert: “Titanic” Shows 1912 Era Etiquette Accurately
TechnoTrenz, 31 Jul 2022

In June 2022, Meier spoke with V?nity F?ir ?bout the ver?city of the m?nners depicted in well-liked movies ?nd TV shows like Tit?nic. Be?umont Etiquette, ? business owned by Meier, provides ?dvice ?nd instruction in proper Continent?l Europe?n, British, ?nd Americ?n m?nners. When it comes to depicting m?nners of the er?, “Tit?nic is one of my f?vorite movies,” Meier s?id. It tr?nsports us to 1912, The m?nners you displ?yed in public ?nd in society reve?led your fin?nci?l status ?nd level of education, as well as whether you were wealthy or not.

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Video-It’s Back! Giant Titanic Inflatable Slide
Daily Mail, 31 Jul 2022
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1300364/Thrill-seeking-GIANT-Titanic-inflatable-grabs.html?page=

There are no words adequate to describe what I think about this.

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Vessel Sinks But Not Spirits At Cardboard Boat Regatta
Yahoo News, 31 July 202

A small vessel sunk in Lafayette on Sunday, flanked by pirates and a small whale watching craft. The captain, Carter Aram, 20, and his first mate, Harper Arenson-Pie, 16, never abandoned their ship, despite only a mangled duct tape hull left to cling to by the time they returned to the ladder at the shallow end of the pool. “I sunk with pride,” said a breathless Aram, after competing against two other teams during the maiden cardboard boat regatta at the Great Outdoors Water Park. The lifeguard knew the irony of naming his boat “Titanic 2.”

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Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

Footage Shows How Different The Titanic Looks After Over A Century Of Erosion By The Sea
TimesNowNews, 31 July 2022

The eerie footage, posted on TikTok and other platforms, showed the vessel’s rusted icicle shapes that have formed on the hull. Background voices of the expedition members suggest even they were both happy and pleasantly surprise by what they saw. “Wow. Did the lights just go off? It didn’t sound like anything, but it went darker on the right side. Starboard side,” a man is heard saying.

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Titanic Explorers Lose Light As They Search Through Wreck In Terrifying New Footage
LadBible, 30 Jul 2022

After a short while, the video begins to make more sense and we see what looks like the top portion of the boat accompanied by a central anchor. All of a sudden, the light begins to change and a strange fog appears at the left hand side of the video. One of the voices can be heard saying: “Wow. Did the lights just go off?” to which someone else replies: “It didn’t sound like anything, but it went darker on the right side. Starboard side.”

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Unique Titanic Collectors’ Items On Sale At Torquay Museum
Torbay Weekly, 29 Jul 2022

Meanwhile, the Titanic exhibition will allow visitors to see artefacts from the ship, explore Torquay’s connection to the Titanic and learn about the people that travelled on board. Alongside these latest exhibitions comes brand new stock in the gift shop.

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Stuck In Time: Inside An Abandoned Castle Owned By Titanic Victims
New York Post, 27 Jul 2022

Ramy Awad, an urban explorer living in New York City, set out to central France to document an abandoned 19th-century castle, which he claims was once home to victims of the Titanic disaster. The result? A TikTok video that has already garnered more than 10.2 million views in which Awad gives viewers a tour inside the castle, which features fully furnished rooms with vintage rugs and furniture, wooden panels, built-in bookshelves and bed covers.

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Remembering History: Warsaw Uprising Begins (1 Aug 1944)

Rare Agfacolor photo (invention from 1936) dated August 1944 taken in Warsaw, Poland in the Old Town Market Place during Warsaw Uprising in August 1944
Ewa Faryaszewska (1920-1944)
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

On 1 Aug 1944 Poles in Warsaw launched a major uprising against the Nazi occupation. The Soviet Army had advanced to the Vistula River on the eastern suburb of Warsaw prompting the revolt. Polish General Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, commander of the Home Army (an underground resistance group of around 40,000). The Home Army had ties to the government-in-exile in London, which was anti-communist. The hope was to gain at least partial control of Warsaw before the Soviets arrived.

By this time, the German Army had been pushed back considerably from its gains in Russia. And their taking Warsaw seemed likely. Despite this, Adolf Hitler ordered that the uprising be suppressed at all costs. The Nazi SS directed the defense force and engaged in brutal street fighting. The Polish Home Army fought back hard despite having limited supplies and no support from the Soviet Army (which cause friction between Poland and the Soviet Union for years).

The Red Army did capture several bridgeheads across the Vistula River in preparation to take Warsaw but held back doing anything more. Only under intense pressure from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin Roosevelt did Stalin relent and allow Allies to drop supplies to the rebels. But it was too late as by that time, both the rebels and the citizens ran out of food, supplies, and medical supplies. The uprising came to an end on 2 October when the remaining forces surrendered. The revolt had lasted 63 days but the cost for both sides was high. An estimated three-fourths of the Home Army died along with 200,000 civilians. The Germans suffered 10,000 dead, 9,000 wounded, and 7,000 missing. In keeping with their dislike of the Polish people (they were seen as just a notch above the Jews but were slated for either slavery or death by the Nazis) the survivors were deported.

Deploying demolition squads, most of the remaining intact buildings in Warsaw would be destroyed over the next several months. All of Warsaw’s treasures were looted, burned, or destroyed. Meanwhile the Red Army sitting outside Warsaw did nothing to stop the Germans. They would not move until January 1945 when their final offensive was launched. On 17 January 1945, the ruins of Warsaw were liberated by the Soviets who faced little or no opposition. Thus, making it easy for them to establish a Communist state in Poland. After suffering from Nazi occupation, the Polish people would suffer a longer one under the Communists.

 

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Welcome to August

Medieval illustration of men harvesting wheat with reaping-hooks
Circa 1310
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

August is the eight month on the Gregorian and Julian calendars. One the old Roman calendar this was the sixth month called Sextilis since that calendar start in March. It is named for the Roman emperor Augustus and this month was chosen as many important battles he won were done during this month. It is the last full month of summer in the Northern Hemisphere but in the southern the equivalent of February. In Europe, it is often the month where many workers take vacations.

August in the Northern Hemisphere is also when the first harvest and harvest festivals begin. The dog days of summer end officially on August 11. The Perseid Meteor shower which began in July continues to August 24. Usually the best viewing days are between August 9-13th. The August full moon is sometimes called Sturgeon Moon but since harvesting begins in the Northern Hemisphere it has also called Grain Moon, Fruit Moon, and Barley Moon.. For the people that live in the town of Ny-Ålesund in Norway, August is very important. As the northernmost town in the world, the summer has been one long day. The sun has been staying above the horizon since April and finally during August Polar Day occurs. That often occurs on August 24 though it can vary year to year. Tourists often visit between May-August. The sun does not rise between late October to mid-February.

The symbols for August are:

  • Gladiolus(Gladiolus imbricatus)
    Photo: Christer Johansson(via Wikipedia)

    Birthstores: peridot, sardonyx, and spined.

  • Flowers: Gladiolus or Poppy

Nazi Germany Prepares For Final Solution (31 July 1941)

Portrait Reinhard Heydrich in Uniform of SS-Gruppenführers ca. 1940/1941
German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons

On 31 July 1941 Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, following instructions by Hitler, sent a letter to SS General Reinhard Heydrich directing him to “to submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.” In the instruction, Goering recalled a general outline that had been drafted on 24 January 1939 that called for the emigration and deportation of Jews in the best possible way. The program to be implemented by Nazi Germany was the mass and systemic extermination of Jews in al countries under German control.

Heydrich had already started implementing the strategy by bringing back the medieval ghetto in Poland. Jews were forced to live in cramped walled areas and held as prisoners. Their property was confiscated and given to Germans or local non-Jewish people. The instructions from Goering would lead to the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942 where details on implementing this mass murder scheme would be decided upon.

Sources:

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Remembering History: England Defeats Spanish Armada (29 July 1688)

 

Defeat of the Spanish Armada (Philip James de Loutherbourg, 1796)
Public Domain

On July 29, 1688 naval forces of England and Spain engaged in an 8-hour furious battle off the coast of France that determined the fate of both countries control of the seas. Spain had created the armada to not only gain control of the English Channel but also to land an invasion force in England. England since the early 1580s had been conducting raids against Spanish commerce and had supported Dutch rebels in Spanish Netherlands. The other reason was to restore Catholicism that had been outlawed since the reign of King Henry VIII

The invasion fleet was authorized by King Philip II and was completed in 1587 but delayed by a raid by Sir Francis Drake on the Armada’s supplies. It did not depart until May 19, 1588. The fleet consisted of 130 ships under the command of the Duke of Medina-Sidonia. It had 2,500 guns, 8,000 seamen, and 20,000 soldiers. The Spanish ships though were slower than their English counterparts and lighter armed as well despite their guns. Their tactic was to force boarding when their ships were close enough. They believed with the superior numbers of Spanish infantry they could overwhelm the English ships.

The English were commanded by Charles Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of Effingham. Like his counterpart, he was an admiral with not much sea experience but proved to be the better leader. His second in command was Sir Francis Drake. The English fleet was at its height 200 ships but in the actual combat was at most 100. Only 40 were warships and the rest smaller, but they were armed with heavy artillery that were able to fire at longer ranges without having to get close to the enemy to be effective. The English strategy was to bombard their enemy from a distance and not give them the opportunity to get close and possibly board their ships (which had smaller number of soldiers aboard than the Spanish had).

As the Spanish Armada made its way, it would be harassed by English ships that bombarded them at a distance negating Spanish attempts to board. The Armada anchored near Calais, France on 27 July. The Spanish forces on land were in Flanders and would take time to get Calais. However, since there was no safe port and enemy Dutch and English ships patrolled the coastal shallows, it meant those troops had no safe way to get to the Armada.

Around midnight on 29 July, the English sent 8 fire ships into the anchored Spanish fleet. The Spanish were forced to quickly scatter to avoid the fire ships. This meant the Armada formation was now broken making them easier targets for the English to attack. They closed to effective range and attacked. Surprising to the English, the return fire was mostly small arms. It turns out most of the heavy cannons had not been mounted. And those that were did not have properly trained crews on how to reload. Three Spanish ships were sunk or driven ashore. Other ships were battered and moved away. The English also were low on ammunition, so they had to drop back and follow the Spanish fleet.

The Spanish fleet had to flee north and around Scotland and from there head back to Spain. The English fleet turned back for resupply. It was a long road back to Spain for the Armada. Autumn had arrived and gales in the North Atlantic made passage tough. Ships were lost to bad weather, navigational errors, foundered near Ireland, and possibly battle damage as well. Only 60 of the 130 survived with an estimated loss of 15,000 men. The English losses were much smaller with fewer men wounded or killed in battle. It appears most of the deaths that came later were due to disease (possibly scurvy). Damages to the English ships were negligible.

Significance

With the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England was made safe from invasion. The Dutch rebels the English backed in Spanish Netherlands were saved as well. Spain up to that point had been considered to be the greatest European power, so it was a major blow to their prestige that would have ramifications down the road for them. Also, it heralded a major change for naval battles. This was the first major naval gun battle where the combatants fought at a distance rather than closing and boarding. Warships that could move quickly and had artillery that fire at long range would become the norm on the seas from that point on. England would now become a major world power. Spain still was in the game for several decades (the English were not successful either in trying their own invasion) and was still a major colonial power. England and Spain formally ended their conflict in 1604. Spain, however, would eventually go into decline as England and other European powers would successfully expand into Asia and establish their own colonies and trade routes.

Sources:

This Day In History: Spanish Armada Defeated
Encyclopedia Britannica: Spanish Armada

For your Friday: Classic Frank Sinatra

 


Remembering History: 14th Amendment Adopted Ending Citizenship Question (28 Jul 1868)

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, several amendments to the U.S. Constitution were needed to correct several important issues. The first was slavery which was outlawed by the 13th Amendment. Another question was about who qualifies as a citizen under the law. It may seem obvious now, but a clear and concise definition was not in the Constitution. Without such a definition, a state could pass a law that would declare person or a group of people as non-citizens on their own. Some laws already existed in the South that severely limited or completely denied African Americans citizenship. Some newly readmitted Confederate states enacted laws that severely restricted their legal rights, angering Northern states.

President Andrew Johnson, who had succeeded Lincoln after his assassination, supported emancipation but as a former slaveowner, did not support the 13th (Congress overturned his veto) and likewise did so on the 14th as well. The 14thamendment not only granted full citizenship to the former slaves, but it also rescinded the three-fifths rule of those enslaved for congressional representation. Now every person counted in determining congressional representation rather trying to make fractions out of people. Everyone age 21 and over was granted the right to vote as well. The amendment had enforcement provisions in it as well if a state chose to ignore the law and impose laws contrary to it. Confederate states had to approve both the 13th and 14th Amendments to rejoin the United States.

When Louisiana and South Carolina ratified the amendment on 9 Jul 1868, that gave it the necessary three-fourths majority to ratify. It was then sent back to Congress for formal certification and became law on 28 Jul 1868. Due to Jim Crow Laws, which many Southern states enacted to make it difficult to vote, those laws would have to be addressed by later court decisions and federal laws. Segregation, where blacks and whites could have separate but equal facilities, was made constitutional in 1897 in Plessy vs. Ferguson. It was overturned by the 1954 case Brown vs Board of Educationending segregation.

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