Category Archives: Titanic

Titanic News: Titanic Copycats that Have Sunk, Marconi First Radio Broadcast, and Titanic Cake Divides Internet

 

Like the SS Pendleton, it appears the Titanic replicas have sunk too.

The Titanic Copy-Cats That Have Been As Ill-Fated As The Original Ship (Belfast Telegraph, 16 May 2022)

But whatever happened to the two full-size replicas, the projects for which were ‘launched’ years ago in Australia and China? Have they turned out to be as ill-fated as the original ship? The short answer is yes. Reports in Australia suggest that Palmer has got cold feet over his vanity project’s Edwardian-period details and colonial-era elegance which, frankly, are not in keeping with prospective passengers’ modern-day cruise ship expectations. At least work actually started on the ‘other’ full-scale Titanic replica at the Romandisea Seven Star International Culture Tourism Resort and theme park in China’s Sichuan Province. The £150m project itself, however, looks sunk. For ‘Unsinkable’, read ‘unsustainable’. There was an audible gasp in the room, however, when Seven Star boss Su Shaojun revealed that a replica iceberg would also be built, to help ‘simulate’ what was, in 1912, an unparalleled maritime disaster. Needless to say, this didn’t go down particularly well, especially here. Former Belfast Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers, whose grandfather had worked on the Titanic, told the Belfast Telegraph the idea was “disgraceful and shameful.” Actor Bernard Hill, who played Captain Edward Smith in the 1997 movie and took part in the Hong Kong launch, initially rejected suggestions that the replica iceberg idea was inappropriate but later regretted his involvement in the project.

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This New ‘Titanic’ Expedition Will Take You Down to the Legendary Shipwreck Before It Disappears Entirely (Robb Report, 13 May 2022)

The 2022 Titanic Expedition will start on June 15. There are a limited number of openings for this year’s missions and a spot will set you back $250,000. Aspiring mission specialists can contact OceanGate Expeditions for additional info. Oh, and there’s another expedition slated for next year if you miss out.

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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

Marconi’s First Radio Broadcast Made 125 Years Ago
(BBC, 13 May 2022)

On 13 May 1897, Guglielmo Marconi sent the world’s first radio message across open water, and he did it while visiting a seaside resort in Somerset. Marconi came to Weston-super-Mare looking to experiment with what he called “telegraphy without wires” – known to us now as radio. He was initially interested in contacting ships, but his work led to a communications revolution. It paved the way for the radio and television broadcasts that we take for granted today.

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Child’s ‘Inappropriate’ Birthday Cake Divides The Internet
(Honey Parenting, 13 May 2022)

An internet user took to the popular Mumsnet Talk forum this week to share an image of a child’s birthday cake and ask others if they thought it was inappropriate. The elaborate cake features a model of the Titanic ship split in two and sinking into the blue cake that depicts the North Atlantic Ocean. Nearby are fondant icebergs, as well as a ticket and a boarding pass. On close inspection, it appears the cake is for a child turning five, as the words, “Titanic 5th Birthday Tehl” are written on the ticket, while the name “Tehl” also appears on the boarding pass.

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Titanic lost: Belfast Telegraph front page on 16 April 1912
Source: Belfast Telegraph

Chilling Video Shows What Sinking On The Titanic Would Really Look Like (Newsweek, 12 May 2022)

A haunting video showing what passengers and crew members aboard the Titanic may have experienced as the doomed luxury liner sank has gone viral on TikTok, amassing more than 3 million views. The clip, which appears to be the second part of a series, was shared by @titanichistory1912, a content creator whose account is dedicated to videos about the Titanic. “What the lighting would have really looked like,” read the text over the clip.

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International Ice Patrol: Remembering The Titanic 110 Years Later
(Homeland Security Today, 12 Mar 2022)

This trip also included an additional mission, honoring the lives lost during the Titanic tragedy by participating in a ceremony commemorating the 110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The crew’s first stop was in Halifax to kick off the multi-mission patrol. They were greeted by the welcoming faces of the Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada at the Local Women’s Council house. A sense of melancholy and reverence filled the room as the events of the Titanic were revisited.

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Yes Virginia, Titanic was a real ship that sank in 1912 with over 1,500 people who died.

10 People Who Literally Didn’t Know the Titanic Was A Real Ship
(Twisted Sifter, 6 May 2022)

You know with all the hoopla about Titanic over the years-the books, movies and ongoing debates-it is hard to imagine anyone who does not know it was a real ship. In fact, I bet it was the source of some jokes making fun of people who knew nothing about Titanic. Turns out that many in fact had no idea the film was based on a real historical event. If the posts shown in the article are to be believed (and I have no reason to think not), it shows how fallen history has dropped out of education these days and replaced by other things.

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And just for fun….

Titanic sails away with €4,300 in Kilmallock
(Irish Farmers Journal, 9 May 2022)

Adam Woods reports from the Irish Angus Munster branch sale held in Kilmallock mart, Co Limerick, at the weekend.


Remembering History: Lindbergh Baby Found Dead (12 May 1932)

Lindbergh Child Poster 1932
Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

The kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby would shock the nation and bring heartbreak to the Lindbergh family. Famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne lived in a house in Hopewell, New Jersey. Around 9:00 pm on 1 March 1932, the kidnapper or kidnappers climbed a ladder into the second-story nursery and abducted the child. A ransom note of $50,000 was left behind. The child was found missing an hour by the nanny, Betty Gow. The local police were notified and turned the case over to the New Jersey State Police. The search found the ransom note, muddy footprints in the nursery, and a ladder a distance away from the home. Footprints from the ladder led into the woods at the edge of the property.

Two other ransom notes would be received raising the demand to $70,000. Attempts to contact the kidnappers failed. Ultimately a retired New York City teacher named John Condon placed advertising in a Bronx newspaper offering to act as intermediary. He got a note from the kidnappers that he would be acceptable. Condon used newspaper columns under the name of Jafsie to send messages. The kidnappers responded with leaving secret written messages at locations in New York City. Additionally, the kidnappers sent the child’s sleeping suit as proof of identity. On 2 April 1932, a meet was set up to deliver the ransom with Lindbergh nearby. Condon talked with someone called John. He accepted $50,000 (the original amount) and said they would find the baby on a boat named Nelly Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. A search for the boat turned up nothing. The money paid were gold certificates whose serial numbers were recorded by the Treasury Department.

Sadly, on 12 May 1932 the body of child was found less than 5 miles from the Lindbergh home. The child was positively identified as the missing child Charles Lindbergh, Jr. An autopsy determined the baby had been killed by a blow to the head either during or just after the kidnapping. The Lindbergh’s were deeply saddened and decided to leave the area, and the house was given to a charity. Investigators checked everyone connected to Lindbergh and John Condon. Nothing was found. Outrage over the kidnapping convinced President Roosevelt to order the U.S. Bureau of Investigation (renamed later to Federal Bureau of Investigation) to investigate.  Congress passed the Federal Kidnapping Act (known as the Lindbergh Law) on 12 June 1932. The law makes kidnapping a crime across state lines and that the person(s) convicted of it would face the death penalty.

Aftermath

A year later a service station attendant in New York City recorded the license plate of a man who had paid with a $10 gold certificate. The gold certificate was registered as one that was used to pay the kidnappers a year before. It was traced to a Bronx residence who matched the description of John who Condon had met with. On 10 Sept 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested and a $20 gold certificate from the ransom payment was found on him. More gold certificates would be found, and his penmanship was similar to what the kidnapper(s) used. Hauptmann claimed he was holding the money for Isidore Fisch, who had returned to Germany and had died. Hauptmann was indicted for murder on 8 Oct 1934. He went on trial in January 1935. This “trial of the century” was mostly circumstantial rather than direct evidence. Condon’s telephone number though was found on a closet door frame and Lindbergh recognized his voice as the one heard the night of the ransom payment. Hauptmann took the stand in his defense claiming he was innocent. He claimed he was beaten by the police and forced to give handwriting samples. He was found guilty on 13 February 1935. His legal appeals, including to the U.S. Supreme Court were rejected. He was executed on 3 April; 1936.

There have been many books over the years that dispute the fingerprints, the police methods and the investigation claiming he was at best innocent or worse framed for the crime. Some have argued that Lindbergh himself was responsible though the outcome of the dead infant was unplanned. Others have sifted through all the evidence and found the evidence compelling enough to warrant the conviction. The strongest support of that is he fit the description that Condon gave, and Lindbergh recognized his voice.

Spoiler Alert Warning!

A more fantastic idea comes the alternative history novel The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth. In this book, Lindbergh becomes president in 1940 instead of Franklin Roosevelt. As president, he signs peace accords with both Nazi Germany and Japan keeping the U.S. out of the war during his time in office. He also enacts policies against the Jews and other things that start moving America more towards a fascist state. After his presidency ends (he flies off and disappears never to be seen again), it is revealed that the Germans had organized the kidnapping and brought his child to Germany. They used this as leverage to compel Lindbergh to enact policies in line with the Nazi’s. At the same time, it was spread that Jew’s were responsible for the kidnapping encouraging antisemitism in America.

However, Lindbergh was not as keen in doing what they wanted (about the Jews in particular) and resisted. His vice president though was in tune with implementing the more radical policies they favored. It is not clear what really happened to Lindbergh. Was his plane brought down by engine failure, did he deliberately crash his plane, or did the Nazi’s have something to do with it? His disappearance allowed the vice president to take control and operate more like an authoritarian leader the Nazi’s would approve of lending credence to this theory. It fell apart thanks to Lindbergh’s wife taking to the radio and asking for it to stop. It does and ultimately Roosevelt would be president in the next election ending the Nazi plot.

  Sources:

Titanic News: Greek Passengers on Titanic, What Happened to Titanic Bodies?

The Titanic: The Unforgotten Stories Of The Four Greek Passengers Who Perished In The Shipwreck
Greek City Times, 9 May 2022

What many do not know is that among the casualties, there were four Greek passengers, who left Europe, looking for a better life and new opportunities in America. Panagiotis Lymperopoulos, Vassilios Katavelos and brothers Apostolos Chronopoulos and Dimitrios Chronopoulos, came from the same village, Agios Sostis, in the region of Messinia in the Peloponnese. They were all under the age of 30 and once they heard the news about the Titanic and the cruise to the US, they travelled to Marseilles in France, to board the ship at the port of Cherbourg.

On This Day: The Lusitania Sunk Off The Coast Of Co Cork
Irish Central, 7 May 2022

The Lusitania’s crossing passed without event for the first few days, until it entered the war zone on May 6. As “History” recounts, the same German submarine that would deal with the vessel its fatal blow was already in the waters off the southern coast of Ireland and had sunk two ocean steamers and a schooner. “Thanks to these attacks, along with intercepted wireless messages, the British Admiralty knew of U-20’s general location (and of other U-boats operating nearby). Nonetheless, it never sent a promised military escort to Lusitania, nor did it offer anything but general warnings about active submarines in the area.”

What Happened To The Bodies From The Titanic?
Vintage News, 6 May 2022

On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. With over 2200 passengers aboard the ship, there were only 706 recorded survivors following the ship’s foundering. The rest? Their bodies were either recovered from the water and transported to Halifax, buried at sea, or lost somewhere in the Atlantic. Here’s what happened to the bodies from the Titanic after so many unfortunate souls were lost to the preventable disaster.


Friday Titanic News

Happy Friday everyone. Here is some Titanic news you might find interesting.

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Make A Wish America
1 Jan 2018
Make A Wish (via Wikimedia Commons)

Make-A-Wish, OceanGate Expeditions Holding Titanic Expedition Contest (VOCM, 5 May 2022)

Make-A-Wish Canada has teamed up with OceanGate Expeditions for a contest that could see someone travel to the site of the Titanic shipwreck. The winner of the Titanic Expedition Contest will get the chance to be a Mission Specialist as part of an eight-day expedition to the site of the world-famous shipwreck, along with a team of scientists and Titanic experts.

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Image: Public Domain (NOAA)

What Deep Sea Exploration Means To The Man Who Discovered The Sunken Remains Of The Titanic (WUWM, 5 May 2022)

He starts by explaining how modern technology made the discovery of the Titanic possible “When we make a discovery, we will deliver the smartest mind in America to that spot. In 30 minutes, we were completely connected by satellite technology to a place we call The Inner Space Center, sort of like Houston, but underwater,” says Ballard.

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Titanic Breakthrough: Hidden Secret Of ‘Very Personal Words’ In Famous ‘Message In Bottle’ (Express, 5 May 2022)

Now, a detailed study of the note, painstakingly undertaken letter-by-letter, has suggested that the communication is most likely an elaborate hoax. Handwriting and psychology expert Coraline Hausenblas said that the main problem with the note is that it was primarily not written in cursive — a type of penmanship in which letters are joined-up in a flowing manner to allow for faster writing speeds.

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Stunning Chicago Mansion Built For Titanic Survivor Lists For $13.3M (New York Post, 3 May 2022)

A row house built for a family who survived the Titanic disaster has hit the market for $13.3 million. Located in the upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, the home was initially built between 1915 and 1917 as part of four Georgian-style residences, according to Chicago’s Historic Preservation Society.

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Gloucestershire And The Titanic – How The County Was Hit By One Of The World’s Worst Sea Disasters (Gloucestershire Live, 2 May 2022)

Lives lost and work done link the county to the sinking.

 

 

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Titanic News: April News Review (March 31-15 April 2022)

This is a curated list of Titanic news for the first part of April 2022.  I will be posting the second half soon.

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Titanic News-April 2022

March 31-April 15, 2022

*29 Shipwrecks Found Since the Discovery of the Titanic
247wallst.com, 31 Mar 2022

29 Shipwrecks Found Since the Discovery of the Titanic

Finding a shipwreck has been the stuff of fantasy for as long as people have sought opportunities beyond the horizon. There is no shortage of wrecked vessels to find; it’s estimated that there are more than three million undiscovered shipwrecks around the world.

*Molly Brown House Opens New Titanic Exhibit With More Unseen Artifacts
4CBS Denver, 1 April 2022

Molly Brown House Opens New Titanic Exhibit With More Unseen Artifacts

Many of the artifacts are associated with “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, who survived the Titanic’s sinking and is one of the most well-known women in Denver’s history. “Heroine of the Titanic” opened on Friday at the Molly Brown House, 1340 Pennsylvania Street. It will be open for visitation on select days through late September.

*12 Artifacts Brought Up From the ‘Titanic’
Mental Floss, 2 April 2022
https://www.mentalfloss.com/posts/titanic-shipwreck-recovered-artifacts

Since 1987—two years after the Titanic wreck was discovered—seven trips have been made to the ship’s debris field, and more than 5500 artifacts have been salvaged. Here are a few of them.

*Titanic Artifact Goes On Display For The First Time Since 1912
Attractions Magazine, 2 April 2022

Titanic artifact goes on display for the first time since 1912

On April 5, 2022, Titanic Museum Attraction will unveil the charm-like embellishment, which was once attached to Straus’s watch fob chain, to a gathering of select members of the media, Straus’s great-great-grandson David Kurzman, and others, marking the first time the public will see it since 1912.

*Rare Illustrated Brochure Is Set To Sell At Auction For £6,000
Daily Mail, 2 April 2022
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10679139/Rare-111-year-old-brochure-Titanic-set-sell-auction-6-000.html

A rare holiday brochure for the Titanic has surfaced 111 years after it was originally produced. The brochure is being sold by a private collector who uncovered it in Northern Ireland several years ago on April 23 and is expected to sell for £6,000.

*Woman Shares Stories of Titanic Passengers for Anniversary of Sinking
Newsweek, 4 April 2022
https://www.newsweek.com/woman-shares-stories-titanic-passengers-anniversary-sinking-viral-tiktok-1694891

A series of videos is gaining traction on TikTok as a woman has decided to share the stories behind various passengers on the Titanic for each day in April—the month the ship sunk over 100 years ago. TikToker @kjdish, whose name is Kaylee Jukich-Fish began the series on April 1 which she calls “Titanic Month” by going through a stack of “boarding passes” from passengers on the ship. The first video has now received over 1 million views in which Jukich-Fish talks about the life of passenger, and survivor, Annie “Nina” Harper.

*The Legend of Jenny, the ‘Titanic’ Cat Said to Have Predicted the Ship’s Fate
Mental Floss, 4 April 2022
https://www.mentalfloss.com/posts/jenny-titanic-cat

Titanic’s resident feline, who joined the ship while it was still in Belfast, didn’t receive the same first-class treatment as the canine passengers that boarded the ocean liner with their owners. Jenny was a ship cat, meaning she was allowed to roam the decks freely and help keep the rat population under control. With no one to smuggle her into a lifeboat—as was the case with two lucky Pomeranians and one Pekingese on board—Jenny’s story likely didn’t have a happy ending. The cat never turned up after the ship sank into the Atlantic, and she was presumed dead.

*Isidor Straus Fob On Display At Pigeon Forge’s Titanic Museum
WVLT8, 5 April 2022
https://www.wvlt.tv/2022/04/05/isidor-straus-fob-display-pigeon-forges-titanic-museum/

The fob, a charm for men’s pocket watches, is on exclusive display for the first time since 1912 at the museum. Isidor Straus wore the fob the night he died during the Titanic’s sinking. Straus’s body was found and the artifact was returned to his family, who has had it for over 100 years.

*Grimm Prospects: Jack Grimm, the Eccentric Billionaire Hell-Bent On Finding the ‘Titanic,’ Bigfoot, and Noah’s Ark
Mental Floss, 5 April 2022
https://www.mentalfloss.com/posts/jack-grimm-explorer-titanic-bigfoot

It was 1980, and Grimm, an oil tycoon, was organizing yet another of his seemingly impossible quests. After searching for the remains of Noah’s Ark, evidence of Bigfoot, and proof of the Abominable Snowman, Grimm had set his sights on finding the wreckage of the Titanic, which had sunk to the depths of the North Atlantic in 1912. No one had located the ship. Grimm believed he could—with the aid of a monkey named Titan.

*Titanic Survivor Molly Brown’s Blanket To Go Under The Hammer
Independent, 6 April 2022
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/belfast-harland-and-wolff-errol-flynn-new-york-american-b2052008.html

“As part of the sale, Molly’s White Star Line embroidered deck chair blanket, which was in her possession when she was travelling on the Titanic, will be going under the hammer, as will an engraved trinket box that was given to Molly by her husband upon her safe return to New York,” he said. The auction catalogue for the sale, which will take place on April 26 in house and online, is now available to view: www.bloomfieldauctions.co.uk

*Titanic’s 110th Anniversary: One Of Only Six Life Jackets Remaining From Ship To Be Displayed In Belfast Museum
Belfast Telegraph, 7 April 2022
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/archive/titanic/titanics-110th-anniversary-one-of-only-six-life-jackets-remaining-from-ship-to-be-displayed-in-belfast-museum-41529595.html

One of only six life jackets remaining from the Titanic has gone on display at the Titanic Belfast museum to commemorate the 110th anniversary of its sinking. This is the first time the life jacket has been on public display on the island of Ireland and it is free for the public to view in the Grand Atrium of Titanic Belfast until Sunday, April 24.

*110th Anniversary Of Titanic To Take Place In Cobh Over The Weekend
Irish Times, 7 April 2022
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/110th-anniversary-of-titanic-to-take-place-in-cobh-over-the-weekend-1.4847141

The 110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic with the loss of 1,504 lives will be remembered in Cobh this weekend. Members of the British Titanic Society (BTS) will travel to the Cork Harbour town to lay a wreath at the spot that the White Star liner departed from on her ill-fated maiden voyage. Over 80 members of the British Titanic Society will travel to Cobh for the society’s 2022 convention where they will travel to Roches Point on Friday to lay a wreath at the point from where the liner departed from Ireland en route to New York.

*6 Facts About ‘Titanic’ Survivor Eva Hart, One of the Last to Remember the Disaster
Mental Floss, 8 April 2022
https://www.mentalfloss.com/posts/eva-hart-titanic-survivor-facts-history

Seven-year-old Eva Hart boarded the Titanic with her family on April 10, 1912, not knowing that her life was about to change forever. In her later years, she had the distinction of being one of the last living Titanic survivor with first-hand memories of the disaster. Here are six facts about Eva Hart’s role in history.

*Key Facts On Titanic And Belfast — 110 Years After It Sailed On Its Fateful Transatlantic Voyage
News Letter, 10 April 2022
https://www.newsletter.co.uk/heritage-and-retro/heritage/key-facts-on-titanic-and-belfast-110-years-after-it-sailed-on-its-fateful-transatlantic-voyage-3648285

(The article is fine but they should have edited it more carefully. In some places, time travel took place as dates such as 2011 are used!)

The Titanic link to Belfast has its origins almost half a century earlier, when White Star Line in 1869 chose Harland and Wolff in the city to commence construction of vessels to rival Cunard Line, which was the main shipping service across the Atlantic.

*Remembering Titanic Victim ‘Tom’ Kerley Of Bowerchalke
Salisbury Journal, 10 April 2022
https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/features/journalfeatures/20055511.remembering-titanic-victim-tom-kerley-bowerchalke/

William Thomas Kerley lived at Woodminton Cottages, Bowerchalke and on the release of the Titanic film ‘A Night to Remember’ in 1957, many locals came forward to say they knew “Tom” Kerley. Mr Will Case knew the Kerley family, as did a Mrs Hardiman, of Shaftesbury, who reported in 1957: “The young man Tommy Kerley, as he was called, had two brothers and four or five sisters. The family left Bowerchalke soon after the disaster.”

*Brooch From Titanic With Jack And Rose-Like Love Story Up For Auction
New York Post, 11 April 2022
https://nypost.com/2022/04/11/brooch-dating-back-to-the-titanic-ship-goes-up-for-auction/

Titanic survivor Roberta Maioni was just 20 years old when she found romance with a young gentleman steward aboard the ill-fated voyage. The first-class passenger fell in love with an unnamed crew member, who gifted her a white brooch the night of the ocean liner’s sinking.

*When Did Titanic Sink And How Long Did It Take? A Timeline Of The Disaster
History Extra, 13 April 2022
https://www.historyextra.com/period/edwardian/when-did-titanic-sink-how-long-timeline-disaster/

As day turned to night on 14 April 1912, little did passengers and crew on board Titanic know of the horrors that lay ahead. Nige Tassell tracks a timeline of how the disaster unfolded…

*Divine Mercy And The Sinking Of The Titanic
National Catholic Register, 12 April 2022
https://www.ncregister.com/blog/titanic-and-divine-mercy

Father Byles worked as quickly and as calmly as he could to usher the women and children to the lifeboats. The characteristic of the priest most in evidence, and the one most remarked on later by survivors, was his presence of mind throughout. It was as if this moment was the one for which he had been preparing all his life. Seeing the first batch of women and children safely aboard lifeboats, and declining an offer to join them, he quickly descended once more below decks.

*Titanic Passengers: 8 Stories Of People Who Sailed On The Liner
History Extra, 13 April 2022
https://www.historyextra.com/period/edwardian/titanic-passengers-stories-people-who-sailed-on-board/

Titanic brought people together from all levels of society – from the wealthy to those seeking a new start. From a future Olympian to the architect who went down with his ship, uncover the tales of those who were on board…

*Titanic Shipyard Wins Britain’s First Cruise Ship Contract In 50 YEARS As UK Economy Soars
Express, 13 April 2022
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1595204/Titanic-shipyard-queen-victoria-belfast-cruise-ship-P-O

Harland & Wolff will now undertake works on P&O Cruises’ ship Aurora and Cunard’s Queen Victoria. When the work begins, the Queen Victoria will be the largest cruise ship ever to have dry docked in a UK yard. Prior to the planned work, the last cruise liner built by Britain was the Saga Ruby, built in 1973 in Newcastle upon Tyne.

*Enduring Mystery: Do These Photos Show The Iceberg That Sank The Titanic?
Yahoo, 13 April 2022
https://news.yahoo.com/enduring-mystery-photos-show-iceberg-172036577.html

One such photo showing an iceberg that, experts say, the massive Titanic ocean liner may have likely struck before sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic, is the first one believed to be taken by a passenger on the S.S. Carpathia, a passenger ship re-routed to help to the sinking Titanic.

*The Titanic Sank 110 Years Ago. An Indy Newspaper Got The Story Very Wrong.
IndyStar, 15 April 2022
https://www.indystar.com/story/news/history/retroindy/2022/04/15/titanic-anniversary-indianapolis-star-newspapers-covered-tragedy/7008835001/

By now, we all know this story. One hundred and ten years ago, during her maiden voyage, the RMS Titanic — then the world’s most luxurious liner, deemed “unsinkable” because of her state-of-the-art safety features — struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic Ocean and sank, killing 1,500 passengers. Although, for Indianapolis residents in 1912, that kind of depended on where you got your news.

Titanic Chronology: Olympic Departure Delayed Over Lifeboats (24 April 1912)

RMS Olympic Arrives In New York on Maiden Voyage, 21 June 1911
Source: U.S. Library of Commerce/Wikimedia Commons
Public Domain

In the wake of the Titanic sinking, all passenger ships were equipped with lifeboats for everyone aboard. Olympic, like her sister ship, did not have enough lifeboats but they were quickly added for her upcoming departure from Southampton on 24 April 1912. 40 collapsible lifeboats (all second-hand) had come from troopships. However, there was concern amongst the crew that these lifeboats were not seaworthy.  A request sent by crewman that they should be replaced by wooden lifeboats was declined by White Star which said that it was impossible to do that and they had passed as seaworthy by the Board of Trade inspector.

Not convinced of this, 284 firemen went on strike delaying the departure. Non-union crew were hired from Southampton and from Liverpool to make up the difference. On 25 April 1912, representatives of the strikers witnessed a test of four of the collapsible boats. One was found unseaworthy. The representatives said they would recommend the strikers return to work as a result. A separate objection about the non-union workers who were hired came up as an issue. White Star refused to fire them. This resulted in 54 crewmembers leaving the ship in protest causing the cancellation of the sailing. Later they would be charged and convicted of mutiny, but no punishment was awarded due to the circumstances. White Star Line hired them back in end fearing a public backlash in support of the strikers. Olympic would sail for New York on 15 May 1912.

 

Sources:

Encyclopedia Titanica
Ocean Liners Magazine
RMS Olympic (Wikipedia)

 

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Titanic Chronology-U.S. Senate Hearing into Titanic sinking begins

With Titanic’s sinking, U.S. Senator William Alden Smith saw this as an opportunity to investigate marine safety issues. Smith, a Republican Senator from Michigan, had experience in investigating railroad safety issues. Smith believed due to the sensational nature of this disaster that rapid action was needed. Another concern was that many of the witnesses-surviving passengers and crew-would disperse and return home. On 17 April 1912, Smith proposed that a hearing be done to investigate the sinking. President Taft, who lost his friend and military advisor Archibald Butt in the sinking, concurred. A U.S. naval escort was set up for Carpathia to make sure no one left before it docked.

Senator William Alden Smith of Michigan
Unknown date (between 1905 and 1945)
Public Domain

Smith, accompanied by Francis G. Newlands and other officials traveled to New York and were there when Carpathia docked in New York. They boarded the ship and served subpoenas on J.Bruce Ismay and on surviving officers and crew. The hearings began on 19 April 1912 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York and later moved to Washington D.C. The hearings, with many recesses in-between, would run for 18 days till May 25, 1912.

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

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Titanic Chronology:Carpathia Arrives on 18 April 1912

Crowd Awaiting Survivors of Titanic, 18 April 1912
U.S. Library of Congress,Bain Collection, Control #ggb2004010347
Public Domain

It had been a long three days since Titanic sank when Carpathia arrived bearing Titanic’s survivors. What had been first optimistic news turned grim after the miscommunication had been sorted out. Titanic had sunk and 1500 had perished out in the cold North Atlantic. News as to who exactly had survived was not fully known as Carpathia had kept a media blackout during its journey to New York. There was a reporter on board but had to keep his notes secret in a cigar box lined with champagne corks. He would toss it towards a Hearst editor in a tugboat in New York harbor where it would be raced for a special evening edition of New York World. 50 tugboats full of reporters yelled at the ship through megaphones offering money for eyewitness accounts. Carpathia first stopped at Pier 59, the White Star Line pier and offloaded Titanic‘s lifeboats. They were all that were left of the ship aside from the flotsam and jetsam that would be found later in the Atlantic. Then Carpathia proceeded to Pier 54 and the Titanic survivors disembarked. It was only then it was truly known who did survive and who did not.

 

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: White Star Line Hires Ships To Retrieve Bodies (17 April 1912)

CS Mackay Bennett (circa 1884)
Artist Unknown
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

As the world awaits news of who survived Titanic, the White Star Line decides to hire ships to go out and retrieve bodies. Reports of bodies floating in the Atlantic had been reported and White Star wanted to retrieve them as quickly as possible for a number of practical reasons. Ocean currents would eventually move them out of the area, so getting them retrieved as soon as possible would allow families to lay them to rest. Another reason for speed was that sea creatures and birds would start consuming the bodies making identification difficult as well. The cable ship Mackay Bennett was the first ship hired by White Star (others would be employed as well) to retrieve bodies. The ship emptied itself of its normal stores in Halifax, Nova Scotia and brought aboard supplies for its new mission:

  • Embalming supplies and coffins (100)
  • Chief embalmer of John Snow & Co., John R. Snow Jr.
  • 100 tons of ice to store the bodies
  • Canon Kenneth Hind of All Saints Cathedral, Halifax

Mackay Bennett left Halifax at 12:28 pm on 17 April 1912. Due to heavy fog and rough seas, it would take four days to reach where Titanic sank. They began recovery at 0600 on 20 April. Bodies were manually recovered by skiffs and brought back to the ship. They recovered 51 bodies but realized they did not have enough embalming supplies on hand. Since the laws at the time required bodies to be embalmed before unloading from ships docking in a Canadian port, they followed a general procedure:

  • First class passengers were embalmed and placed in coffins
  • Second and third class passengers along with crew were embalmed but wrapped in canvas
  • Bodies that were too decomposed or disfigured were buried at sea
  • Bodies that were brought back were either transported by relatives to their final resting place or interred in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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 Sunk (15-16 April 1912)

New York Times Front Page 16 April 1912
Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)
Titanic lost: Belfast Telegraph front page on 16 April 1912
Source: Belfast Telegraph

The distress call from Titanic was greeted with disbelief and shock. News reached New York on on Monday evening about the distress call. Philip Franklin, who was in charge of the White Star Line office in New York issued a statement around 10:30 pm that “There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable, and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.”

Messages from Titanic and other ships responding were being relayed to Cape Race and then re-transmitted on. It is during this process that things likely went amiss causing confusion. Pieces of messages got mixed up with others indicating Titanic and its passengers had been saved and was in tow to Halifax. This led to Franklin issuing another statement later that said (in part) “We hope that reports from the Virginian and the Parisian will prove to be true, and that they will turn up with some of the passengers…”Most newspapers were reporting that evening that all Titanic passengers had been saved and on various ships. Titanic was being towed to Halifax. Based on that, White Star chartered trains to take families to Halifax to meet their relatives there.

Over at the New York Times, its managing editor Carr van Anda, did not accept this. Messages from Titanic had stopped indicating it likely sank. On Monday morning, 15 April 1912, the headline of the Times had the following headline:

New Liner Titanic Hits Iceberg;
Sinking By Bow At Midnight;
Women Put Off In Lifeboats;
Last Wireless At 12:27 A.M Blurred

 

By midnight on the previous day, Franklin had begun to realize that something had gone terribly wrong, but it was still unconfirmed at that point. “I thought her unsinkable, and I based my opinion on the best expert advice. I do not understand it.” He would weep later when the truth would eventually be learned. As the trains sped north to Halifax, they would be stopped and turned back to New York with apologies to all aboard. The survivors were coming to New York instead. The message sent by J. Bruce Ismay from Carpathia to White Star reported Titanic had sunk. It would be learned all the survivors were aboard Carpathia bound for New York.

There were no such confusing reports in Ireland, Britain or elsewhere. In Belfast, those who had worked on the great ship awoke the next day to see two words on the news board the kids had to sell newspapers:

Titanic Sunk

 

They could not believe what they were reading. The ship they had helped build, craft, and launch was now lying on the bottom of the Atlantic. Many wept and others just stood in shock at the news. Ships back then were constructed by hand so many who had labored on the ship had a sense of pride at what they did. In Southampton, many went to the White Star Line offices to find out what had happened to their husbands, sons or daughters. White Star had lists but not great ones with just last names listed in many cases. Southampton would see many homes without fathers, mothers (or both) as a result of Titanic sinking. As news spread around the world, anxious families would also inquire but would not be able to learn anything.

Aboard Carpathia, Ismay isolated himself in a cabin. Wireless messages were being sent outbound by survivors aboard, but it would not respond to specific requests, even one from the President Taft of the United States inquiring about the fate of his friend and military aide Colonel Archibald Butt.

That would not be known for a few days. Carpathia was inbound to New York and only when it arrived on 18 April 1912, would they truly know who had survived and who had perished. And all that remained of that once great ship were the lifeboats that would be unloaded at the White Star Line pier.

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

,,,