All posts by Mark Taylor

Titanic Chronology:Titanic Arrives Queenstown (Cobh) 11 April 1912

RMS Titanic pictured in Queenstown, Ireland 11 April 1912
Source:Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh Ireland/Wikimedia Commons

Titanic arrives in Queenstown (now Cobh) Ireland at 11:30 am at Roches Point, the outer anchorage of Queenstown Harbor. Tenders PS Ireland and PS America would transport passengers from the White Star Line pier to the ship. The tenders also picked up mail bags at Deepwater Quay that had been brought in by train. 123 passengers embarked from Queenstown. Of the 123, three were first class, seven second class, and the remaining third class (called steerage back then). One of those disembarking was Francis Brown (later Father Brown, SJ) with his camera and photos of life aboard ship. Titanic departed at 1:30 pm for New York.

Sources:

Books

Behe, George TITANIC: SAFETY, SPEED AND SACRIFICE, Transportation Trails, Polo, IL 1997

Eaton John P. & Haas Charles, TITANIC TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY, SECOND EDITION, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1995 First American Edition

Lord, Walter, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1955. Multiple revisions and reprints, notably Illustrated editions (1976,1977,1978 etc)

Lord, Walter, THE NIGHT LIVES ON, Willian Morrow and Company, New York, New York, 1986 (First Edition)

Lynch, Don & Marshall Ken, TITANIC AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, Madison Press Books, Toronto, Ontario Canada, 1992

Internet

Britannica.com
Cobh Heritage Center
Encyclopedia Titanica
History.com

,,,

 

Titanic Chronology: Titanic Departs Southampton on Maiden Voyage (10 April 1912)

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.

Titanic captain Edward J. Smith boards ship at 7:30 am. At 12 noon, Titanic begins her maiden voyage. While departing, suction from propellers causes New York to break moorings. Collision is averted by tugs and extra speed from Titanic. She heads across the English Channel and arrives at Cherbourg, France at 5:30 pm.  274 passengers board including John Jacob Astor. 22 passengers disembark. She departs at 8:30 pm for Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland.

Sources:

Books

Behe, George TITANIC: SAFETY, SPEED AND SACRIFICE, Transportation Trails, Polo, IL 1997

Eaton John P. & Haas Charles, TITANIC TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY, SECOND EDITION, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1995 First American Edition

Lord, Walter, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1955. Multiple revisions and reprints, notably Illustrated editions (1976,1977,1978 etc)

Lord, Walter, THE NIGHT LIVES ON, Willian Morrow and Company, New York, New York, 1986 (First Edition)

Lynch, Don & Marshall Ken, TITANIC AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, Madison Press Books, Toronto, Ontario Canada, 1992

Internet

Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Titanica
History.com

,,,

Remembering History: Germany Invades Denmark & Norway (9 April 1940)

Boat with Jews sailing from Falster (Denmark) to Ystad in Sweden
Date: Between September 1943 and October 1943
National Museum of Denmark/Wikimedia Commons

After months of inaction, Germany launches an invasion of Denmark and Norway on 9 April 1940. The invasion in Norway was unopposed as commanders were sympathetic to former foreign minister and pro-fascist Vidkun Quisling. Once the troops were landed, Norway was ordered to surrender but decline. Germany sent in paratroopers and took control putting Quisling in charge of government. However loyal troops refused to surrender and fought with British troops against the Germans. The British troops, however, were ordered to France due to German troops advancing there. Norway was forced to surrender and with compliant government in place, the country was secured. Denmark, having not a military strong enough to repel the invasion, would capitulate.

The Danes negotiated a deal where full German occupation did not occur and was allowed to mostly remain somewhat independent. However by 1943, Danish resistance to the Germans had grown causing problems with sabotage. In response, the Germans demanded tighter controls but the government refused. Germany dissolved the government and took over running Denmark directly. Danish Jews were now at risk of being deported. When word was received of  an upcoming pogrom on Rosh Hashanah in October 1943, Jews were told to go into hiding by Danish people. Nearby Sweden offered a haven and was unoccupied by the Nazis. And it was close (3 miles away). Jews were ferried across in fishing boats and it was not exactly comfortable and often terrifying. However, 7,000 managed to flee to Sweden leaving only around 500 Jews who could not get away. Those Jews were sent to Theresienstadt. Of them only 51 perished and were saved by persistent support of the Danish for those being held at Theresienstadt. 90% of Danish Jews escaped the Holocaust thanks to righteous Danes.

Sources:

History.com
History Learning Site

Articles (Online)

How the Danes Saved the Jews, jmshistorycorner
Holocaust Rescue: Rescue of Danish Jews, Jewish Virtual Library


Remembering History: Britain & France Sign Entente Cordiale (8 April 1904)

In the early years of the 20th century, the colonial powers of Britain and France became increasingly concerned with Germany’s military growth. France had suffered defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and was concerned about its growing military power. Britain was concerned as well about Germany’s growing navy bringing both countries together in an agreement. Africa was the main point of contention with British, French, Belgium and Germany all having colonial territories. Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain also had territory in Africa.

Colonial Africa, 1914
Image Credit: Whiplashoo21/Creative Commons

 

On 8 April 1904, both countries declared that they recognized certain territorial claims of the other in Africa. The British agreed that France had control over Morocco and France agreed to recognize Egypt as under British control. The declaration became known as the Entente Cordial and the beginnings of an alliance between the two powers. Although there was an agreement to diplomatically support the other, there was no requirement they provide military assistance if they were attacked.

Why This is Important

While not a formal alliance, it put the world on notice and in particular Germany that Britain and France recognized each other’s colonial territories. Germany saw the agreement exactly for what it was and would take steps to challenge it. Germany supported the Sultan of Morocco in 1905 against France. Britain however sided with France and resulted in an international conference that confirmed France’s control over Morocco. Germany decided to send troops to Morocco in 1911 precipitating another crisis. This forced both Britain and France into an informal military alliance to counter Germany. Rather than break up the two parties, Germany’s actions only brought them closer together. And it would result in more formal military agreement that would include Russia as well. By 1912, Europe was divided into two main blocks: Britain, France and Russia and Germany, Austria-Hungary.

Sources:

Britannica.com
History. Com
Wikipedia


Titanic Chronology: Titanic Loads Fresh Food (8 April 1912)

Titanic Lunch Menu 14 April 1912
Photo: AP

Fresh food was loaded today on Titanic in preparation for its departure. Feeding passengers and crew was no small thing back then. At maximum capacity, it would carry 2,453 passengers and around 900 crew. That meant having large quantities of just about everything- meats, dairy, vegetables, fruits, flour, bread, and cereals. Since the ship served alcohol, it also carried ale, wine, and liquor as well. And, of course, a gentleman back then would have a cigar with his brandy, so they had cigars as well. Drinking water had to be stored as well for the voyage along with crockery, glassware, and cutlery for food to be prepared, served and eaten on. You can view a list of food at Titanic Facts.

Sources:

Books

Behe, George TITANIC: SAFETY, SPEED AND SACRIFICE, Transportation Trails, Polo, IL 1997

Eaton John P. & Haas Charles, TITANIC TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY, SECOND EDITION, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1995 First American Edition

Lord, Walter, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1955. Multiple revisions and reprints, notably Illustrated editions (1976,1977,1978 etc)

Lord, Walter, THE NIGHT LIVES ON, Willian Morrow and Company, New York, New York, 1986 (First Edition)

Lynch, Don & Marshall Ken, TITANIC AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, Madison Press Books, Toronto, Ontario Canada, 1992

Internet

Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Titanica
History.com

,,,

Jack Phillips Postcard To Sister Up For Auction

 

Jack George Phillips, Titanic Wireless Operator, 1912
Author unknown
Photo: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Titanic Postcard Signed ‘Love, Jack’ Set To Fetch More Than $15K At Auction (New York Post, 6 April 2021)

Signed “Love, Jack,” the postcard was sent by a hero of the Titanic disaster – but he wasn’t the fictional (swoon!) Jack Dawson character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the epic 1997 movie. Nonetheless, the 1912 correspondence bearing an image of the supposed “unsinkable” ship written by senior wireless operator Jack Phillips is expected to fetch at least $15,000 at auction this month. The then-24-year-old sent the postcard 109 years ago to his sister, Elsie Phillips, from Belfast, Ireland, on March 7, just five weeks before the fateful sinking — and his death on April 15. He wrote a sweet message to his sibling on the reverse of the glossy photo postcard showing the White Star Line’s Titanic on the day of its launch at Belfast on May 31, 1911.


 

Titanic News:Haunting Titanic Letter Up For Sale; Did Space Weather Contribute to Titanic Disaster and more….

 

March 6, 1912: Titanic (right) had to be moved out of the drydock so her sister Olympic (left), which had lost a propeller, could have it replaced.
Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public domain

Haunting Five-Page Letter Of Titanic Survivor Describes Hearing Cries As Ship Sank (The Mirror, 5 April 2021)

Marion Wright’s five-page account was written to her dad the day after the disaster in April 1912. She watched from a lifeboat as the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg. Marion, who was 26 at the time, wrote: “It was terrible… I don’t think I shall ever forget it… “We saw the crowds of people when she broke in two which she did a few minutes before she sank going down with a huge explosion over the cries of the people left on board.” She was in her cabin when the “unsinkable” liner struck the iceberg in the north Atlantic.

The letter will be auctioned off by Henry Aldridge & Son on 17 April 2021. It is expected to fetch £6,000 ($8,294)

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A Titanic Mystery Is The Subject Of New Theatrical Dinner Experience At Goodwin Hotel In Hartford,Hartford Courant, 1 April 2021

The final first-class meal ever served on the Titanic is the inspiration for a theatrical dining experience running from April 16 to May 9 at The Goodwin hotel in Hartford. Tyler Anderson, executive chef-owner at the acclaimed Millwright’s in Simsbury, or members of his Millwright’s chef team, will cook for up to 126 people each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night in the second production of “Room Service at the Goodwin,” Anderson has announced. Diners will eat in parties of up to six people, each party in a separate room of the hotel, 21 rooms total. The Titanic meal will be accompanied by a mystery story about the 21 passengers on the Titanic who were bound for Connecticut.

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Was Space Weather The Cause Of The Titanic Disaster? Irish Times, 1 April 2021

At the time of the disaster, the skies were clear, the sea was calm and there was no moon. Several sightings of the aurora borealis, a visible manifestation of geomagnetic disturbance, were reported. The sunspot cycle was near minimum in 1912, and reports from the British Antarctic Expedition on the fateful night were compatible with a coronal hole event on the sun.

Measurements at several geophysical observatories confirmed the occurrence of a strong magnetic storm. This could have affected compass readings on both Titanic and Carpathia. Zinkova argues that this caused similar errors on both ships, accounting for the miraculous interception of the lifeboats by the rescue vessel. The light from the aurora may also have aided the rescue operation.

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Major River Clyde Shipbuilding Attraction To Rival Titanic Belfast Plan For Glasgow GlasgowLive, 29 Mar 2021

Plans are being drawn up to create a new cultural landmark rivalling the Titanic in Belfast and V&A in Dundee in Glasgow. The Ship Yard Trust are looking to create a tourist attraction marking the industrial achievements of the River Clyde and the contribution of the men and women of Glasgow who worked there. The proposal has been described as ‘ambitious’, with the final outcome hoped to be the same quality of other successful attractions including the V&A to put the Clyde on the ‘tourist map’ and provide employment in local communities.


Titanic Chronology: Titanic Adds Crew (6 April 1912)

The only picture of the Marconi radio room onboard the Titanic. Harold Bride is seated at his station. Photo was taken by Father Francis Browne, SJ, while aboard Titanic.
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Titanic fills the remaining vacancies in ship’s crew. Coal and cargo also begin loading today

688 crew members would be aboard Titanic when it sailed. The wireless operators, Harold Bride and Jack Phillips, were actually employees of Marconi. For ship purposes, they were made part of the Victualling Department as they provided a service rather an essential operation. The ship’s orchestra were not employees of White Star but contracted from the Liverpool firm of C.W. & F.N. Black. This firm provided musicians for most British liners. They were treated as second class passengers.

Due to a miners’ strike that ended on 6 April, there was a shortage of coal. To make up for the shortage, coal from other White Star ships were transferred to Titanic so she could sail on 10 April. Passengers on those ships would be transferred as well to Titanic.  The ship would carry 5, 892 tons, which was more than sufficient for the voyage.

 

Sources:

Books

Behe, George TITANIC: SAFETY, SPEED AND SACRIFICE, Transportation Trails, Polo, IL 1997

Eaton John P. & Haas Charles, TITANIC TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY, SECOND EDITION, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1995 First American Edition

Lord, Walter, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1955. Multiple revisions and reprints, notably Illustrated editions (1976,1977,1978 etc)

Lord, Walter, THE NIGHT LIVES ON, Willian Morrow and Company, New York, New York, 1986 (First Edition)

Lynch, Don & Marshall Ken, TITANIC AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, Madison Press Books, Toronto, Ontario Canada, 1992

Internet

Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Titanica
History.com

,,,

Easter Monday

Children enjoy treats at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Easter Monday, 1911
U.S. Library of Congress
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Easter Monday is the day after Easter and during the Eastertide season. In many countries, the day is a national or state holiday. In the case of the former, it means government, banks, and most businesses are closed. In the latter, it is only a state or bank holiday so only the government and banks are shut down. Australia, Austria, Canada (optional in two provinces), France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom (except Scotland) celebrate the day as a national holiday. A full list of countries can be found here. Eastern Orthodox countries celebrate Easter based on the Julian calendar so their Easter Monday will be different from those in the West. Also, countries have different traditions. Some have parades, Easter egg races, picnics or other activities, or special foods for the day. For most, it extends the Easter holiday from Good Friday through Monday.