Remembering History: Roanoke Colony Found Empty;Hitler Suspends Euthanasia Program

The Mystery of Roanoke Colony

In 1585 the first English colony at Roanoke Island (now part of North Carolina) was established. Faced with food supply issues and Indian attacks, they left in 1586. Sir Walter Raleigh assembled another group of settlers under John White. The 100 settlers arrived in 1587 and began establishing the colony. Governor White had to return to England for more supplies but was delayed in returning due to war with Spain. When he returned on 18 August 1590, he found it deserted and no trace of its inhabitants could be found. Only the word CROTOAN carved into the palisade built around the settlement provided a clue.

Searching that island some 50 miles away proved fruitless. There was no indication of them ever being there. And nothing back at the colony suggested something violent had occurred. They did find though something had occurred since many houses had been dismantled and many items that could be carried away were gone. This suggested to White they relocated elsewhere and were not dead. However they failed to locate any evidence as to where they might be. Explorations by others failed to shed light except for John Lawson.

John Lawson’s 1701-1709  expedition of northern Carolina revealed some intriguing details. He encountered the Hatteras people and found they had some influence of English culture. They revealed that several of their ancestors had been white. Some of the people he encountered had grey eyes, which seemed to collaborate the claim. At the old colony he found the remains of the fort, some English coins and firearms. He believed the 1587 colony had been assimilated with the Hatteras when the community lost hope of hearing back from England.

Reconstructed earthworks from archeological records of Fort Raleigh in the 16th century.
Credit: Sarah Stierch (Wikimedia Commons)

Interest in what happened diminished over time and other more promising areas to colonize were used. It was not until the 19th century interest in the lost colony would be rekindled. Many theories have been put forth, including a few supernatural ones. Modern day research has shown that during the period in question, tree rings show the area suffered persistent drought. This may have caused them to leave since, without water, you could not survive. Probably the simplest explanation, and there is some genetic evidence that may support it, is that faced with drought and starvation, they lived with a local Indian tribe. And over time became assimilated into them.

Sources:

The Lost Colony of Roanoke (Britannica.com)
Roanoke Colony Deserted (History.com)

 

Hitler’s Suspends Euthanasia Program

In 1939 the systematic killing of children deemed “mentally defective” (Kinder-Euthanasie) began under the direction of SS-Oberfuehrer Viktor Brack. The program was given the code name T-4 to hide its true purpose and the euphemism used for the killings was disinfection. It was Brack’s job to determine who would be killed in the program. Six centers were set up but the most well known was Hadamar.  Children were transported to these centers and were killed. Jewish children were especially targeted but also non-Jews. Each child had to be certified mentally ill, schizophrenic, or incapable of murder. Children were either killed by lethal injection or were gassed to death. The program was expanded to adults who met the same classifications as well.

The program, however, was not well hidden and became publicly known. Doctors and clergy began voicing protests in letters to Nazi officials and even Hitler itself. In 1940 the Vatican made its opposition known to such a practice. Catholic bishops began speaking out against the program as well and there were protests. Hitler was jeered during the summer of 1941 when his train was held up while they off loaded patients into trucks. It was clear that there was serious opposition to the program, so on 18 August 1941, Hitler suspended the program. This was followed up with a formal order of 24 August 1941 which rescinded his order for the euthanasia operation. It was formally disbanded on 28 August 1941. The death toll is estimated to be 90,000. Of those 80,000 were mental patients and 10,00 came from concentration camps.

Heinrich Himmler commented that had the SS overseen the program, they would have made sure there would have been no uproar.

Sources:

Aktion T4: The Nazi Euthanasia Program (Axis History
Hitler Suspends Euthanasia Program (History.com)
Child Euthanasia In Nazi Germany (Wikipedia)

Strange Case of Chinese Titanic Replica

It appears the Romandsea Titanic Is Rusting Away
Credit: SPLASH

One of the aftereffects of James Cameron’s Titanic was the desire to recreate the ship today for people to experience. Museums offer ways to see what was like aboard the famous ship, but this was a to take it to a whole new level of being aboard a real replica of that ship. Clive Palmer famously launched his idea to the world and held events with the sophisticated and upscale crowd to get their support (and perhaps to buy tickets down the road). So off to China he went to have it built. A snag got on the way in the form of a dispute between Palmer and the Chinese government over a different problem. Despite hiring some reputable companies to do advance work, the sound of crickets could be heard at the Chinese shipyard. Nothing was being done and the Covid hit shutting everything down anyway. While stories still circulate it will eventually be built, no one is sure exactly when.

 Along the way, a Chinese company decided it would build its own Titanic replica that would be part of a theme park in Sichuan, China. The replica would be housed, anchored really since it would ever pull out to sea), at the Romandsea Seven Star International Culture Tourism Resort. The ship was to be built according to the original specifications and would even allow people to stay overnight as well. One featured attraction that garnered lots of negative press though was a Titanic Sinking Simulator. This would allow people to feel what the ship was like after it hit the iceberg and began sinking. People are attached to Titanic, especially those who are affiliated with Titanic organizations, have relatives that perished or survived, or just are amateur enthusiasts of the Titanic story. And they did not like this idea at all. It got well condemned by them in news reports and television interviews. The Chinese company appeared to have backed down on the idea.

Since then, the reports were that construction was underway and would be ready in a few years. It is now 2021 and instead of being ready for the throngs of tourists, the Global Times (a Chinese owned newspaper with direct ties to its government) ran an article recently that has been gathering rust for seven years. Contracts had been signed and a ceremony was held in 2014 to begin construction. Yet despite reports of something going on, it looks like nothing has been going on for a very long time. And there appears to be no explanation either from the company (Seven Star Energy Investment) or Su Shaojin, the chief executive of the company. Apparently more than 154 million dollars has been invested into the project.

Some news reports speculate that the backlash over the Titanic Sinking Simulator sank the project. That would seem unlikely as they could get around that easy with other activities. It is possible, like Clive Palmer, that company got into its own problems with Chinese government and the project had to be halted. Perhaps some bureaucrat or rules imposed by an agency or Beijing itself put up a barrier preventing the construction. It is obvious something stopped construction and one possible thing was investors were not so keen after all. Perhaps the controversy got to them or the costs of building the replica skyrocketed causing investors to hold back. Whatever it was, it ground construction to a halt for seven years. And there it lingers.

So far it seems the track record of so-called Titanic replicas being built stands at zero. The one and only Titanic still lies at the bottom of the Atlantic. Except for movie replicas, it seems life size versions are still just a dream. Perhaps Clive Palmer or the Chinese company should give Elon Musk a call. If anyone can breathe some life into building one, it might be him.

 Sources:

 RUST BUCKET Full-scale £110m Titanic replica lies rusting in China after outrage over plans to recreate iceberg crash (The Sun, 10 Aug 2021)

Life-size Titanic replica lies in dock for 7 years in rust in Sichuan Province (Global Times, 10 Aug 2021)


August Facts and Information

Poppy Field
Friederike Hiepko
Publicdomainpictures.net

August is the eighth month in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars and is one of the seven months that has thirty-one days. One the old Roman calendar it was the sixth month and originally called Sextilis (on that calendar March was the first month of the new year). By the time of Julius Caesar, January and February had been added to the calendar. Caesar added two days when he created the Julian calendar in 46 BC giving it the modern length of thirty-one days. It was renamed in 8 BC to honor the Emperor Augustus. August also entered the vocabulary as well. To call someone august meant they were distinguished or renowned. The same would apply if you applied it to an institution or government body as well.

August in the northern hemisphere is a time when the bounty of the season is often at its fullest (below the equator it is still winter). The birthstones are peridot and onyx, and the birth flower the poppy. For those who like to watch the stars, the Perseid meteor shower which usually occurs between July 17 and August 24. They are often the most visible between August 9 to August 13. The best time to view is usually the pre-dawn hours though you can sometimes see them earlier as well. Another fun fact to know is the Dog Days of Summer (which began on July 3) comes to an end on August 11.

Also, in August we notice, slowly at first, that the days are starting to get a little shorter. At the beginning of the month, you can have up to 14 hours of daylight. By August 31 though, it has shrunk to 13 hours. The sunset that occurred perhaps at 8:17 pm on the first day of August is now just under 7:40 am at the end. Conversely sunrise is getting later resulting in darker early mornings unlike in June or July.

Sources:

  1. August Is the Eighth Month of the Year (timeanddate.com)
  2. The Month Of August 2021: Holidays, Fun Facts, And More (The Old Farmer’s Almanac)
  3. Perseids (NASA)

 

Iceberg Wall Collapse Injures 3 At Titanic In Pigeon Forge

This is not something you want to happen at at a tourist site. Apparently the ice wall at the Pigeon Forge Titanic exhibition collapsed injuring 3 people on Monday night. So far there are no reports of major injuries, Hopefully more details will be released in the coming days.

Iceberg Wall Collapse Injures 3 At Titanic In Pigeon Forge
WVLT8, 2 Aug 2021

Three guests have been injured due to an iceberg wall collapse at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge Police responded to the museum around 7:56 p.m. Monday. Officers said they arrived to find that a wall of ice display fell and injured several visitors. Three people were transported to area hospitals, officials said. The extent of their injuries are unknown, according to officials. According to police, preliminary evidence indicates the incident was accidental.


Wallace Hartley’s Violin Reminds us of Tragic Loss

Photo: Public Domain(Wikipedia)

I recall some years ago when Wallace Hartley’s violin was found and the incredible amount of attention it generated. It truly was a great find. The actual violin that Titanic  band leader Wallace Hartley played on the ship had been discovered. It was in a bag on his body and was later stored and nearly forgotten.

Of course there was a lot of skepticism, as there should be. There have been a lot of scams of fake Titanic memorabilia being passed off as genuine in the past. The violin was rigorously examined and tested to make sure it was authentic. It was and ultimately auctioned off (the winning bidder was anonymous). Here is an interesting story looking into the violin and its importance not only to him but his fiancee that sadly was never to be his wife.

How a Violin Auction Resurrected the Tragic Love Story of the Titanic’s Heroic Band Leader
MyModernMet.com, 30 Jul 2021

Hartley’s body was pulled from the water 10 days after the Titanic sank. Strapped to the bandleader, the rescuers found a leather valise with the initials W.H.H. Inside was his violin case and treasured instrument, as well as some musical scores. For decades, the violin was lost to public knowledge. However, upon its resurfacing in 2006, the rest of the sad story of Hartley and his fiancée has been illuminated. Upon the violin’s emergence from a musician’s attic in 2006, the instrument was the subject of scrutiny by auction house Henry Aldridge & Son and Christian Tennyson-Ekeberg, author of Nearer, Our God, to Thee: The Biography of the Titanic Bandmaster. It was discovered that in July 1912, a grieved Robinson included a telegram receipt in her diary. It read, “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.” Somehow, in the process of identifying and repatriating the dead, the possessions of the late bandmaster were returned to England.


Nazi Germany Prepares For Final Solution (31 July 1941)

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:

,,

Friday Titanic News

Happy Friday everyone. Here is some Titanic and other historic ship news hopefully you find interesting. Have a nice weekend everyone.

 

Andrea Doria’s Foghorn Sounds Again
Divernet, 25 Jul 2021

Andrea Doria’s foghorn sounds again

 

It will be the first time the Italian liner’s horn has been heard since it blew on sinking 65 years ago. The 213m ship had collided with Swedish liner the Stockholm 100 miles off Nantucket in 1956. Forty-six of the Andrea Doria’s 1706 passengers died, along with five of the Stockholm’s crew. Eight survivors are set to join technical divers, maritime historians and restorers for the 65th anniversary event, which will be livestreamed for the public on Facebook Live. The restored Kockumation horn is 1.2m long and its trumpet 60cm in diameter. Attached to an iron replica of a mast section, it weighs 227kg. It was discovered in 2016 by a dive team led by Joe Mazraani, captain of the Atlantic Wreck Salvage dive vessel Tenacious, which has carried out annual expeditions to the Andrea Doria since 2010. He spotted it beneath the mast and it was brought up the following summer.

You can view footage of the sinking on  YouTube.

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Podcast: Titanic is Dying But the Bow & Irish Memories Will Survive
Afloat.ic, 23 Jul 2021
https://afloat.ie/blogs/tom-macsweeney/item/51237-titanic-is-dying-but-the-bow-irish-memories-will-survive

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Titanic Family Fun This Summer In Worcester
Worcester News, 21 Jul 2021

The Titanic: Honour & Glory exhibition at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum are holding special fun-filled workshops for families to enjoy every Wednesday at 11am. The activities will include a range of arts and crafts and a free Monsters of the Deep trail, where children can take an adventure around the Museum, solving clues about real mythical monsters of the sea. Deborah Fox, senior curator with Museums Worcestershire said: “We’ve been delighted by the response to the exhibition, it has been amazing and is proving incredibly popular! We want to bring the history to life for our family audiences this summer and so we hope the drop-in workshops will be an opportunity for children to understand more about the famous ocean liner with craft and creative activities which they can take away with them”

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China. A Huge Replica Of The Titanic Was Made. It Will Be A New Tourist Attraction
RandRLife, 21 Jul 2021

The Chinese Titanic is being built near the city of Daying. It will be 269 meters long, 28 meters wide and 3,000 square metres. tons of steel. However, the ship will not be able to swim. It will remain on the beach as the focal point and major tourist attraction of Sichuan Amusement Park. The replica is supposed to be an accurate representation of the Titanic – from the sumptuous interiors to the dinner menu. The project to create a copy of the legendary ship lasted for several years and was initially announced for completion in 2017. Work was suspended for some time due to financial disputes, but in April, the project’s Facebook page said construction of the ninth floor of the building was underway.

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Sadly Jackie Mason passed away recently. He was truly one of a kind and was able to get laughs easily. Here is his  on the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It is a rare moment when the guest actually one ups the talented Carson. Enjoy! RIP Jackie Mason.

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

Titanic News- Snopes Looks Into Titanic Photograph,Jinxed Train Station Gets New Life and more!

Europe’s Unluckiest Train Station Gets New Lease Of Life As Hotel
The Guardian, 19 Jul 2021

It earned the nickname “Titanic of the mountains”, but now the monumental and ill-fated train station at Canfranc is to get a new life as a five-star hotel, 51 years after the international rail link across the Pyrenees closed. The story of Canfranc, a village more than 1,000 metres (3,280ft) above sea level on the Franco-Spanish frontier, is one of vainglorious ambition and abject failure, of incompetence and corruption, of intrigue, smuggling and a century-long run of bad luck. Spain wanted to show that it was capable of building something on the scale of Europe’s great “railway cathedrals”, says Alfonso Marco, author of El Canfranc, historia de un tren de leyenda (Canfranc, the story of a legendary train). “By the time it was built it already belonged, conceptually and technically, in the 19th century,” he told the Guardian. The problem was that the station was conceived in 1853 but not completed until 1928.

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Is This the Final Photograph of the Titanic?
Snopes.com, 16 Jul 2021

Snopes looks into whether or not a photograph (Morrogh Image) is the final photograph of Titanic. After consulting with Ken Marschall and another expert, it likely was not the last one. It appears to have been taken a few minutes before the Odell Image (taken by Kate Odell on the tender heading ashore). Which makes the Odell image still the last and final photograph of Titanic as she heads out to sea, and into history.

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‘The Apparition Screamed Out ‘Waratah! Waratah!’: Dundee Ship Richard King And ‘Australia’s Titanic’
The Courier, 16 Jul 2021

The Waratah was sailing to Cape Town but she disappeared from sight into the mist with her 211 passengers and crew in July 1909. The story of the Waratah has often been compared to that of the Titanic, which sank three years later. As such, the Waratah has been referred to variously as the “Titanic of the Southern Ocean” and “Australia’s Titanic”. The Richard King was one of the ships that took part in an exhaustive but unsuccessful search for the Waratah. Numerous attempts to salvage it and a few sightings have been reported, with none proving to be true. No one has ever found a trace of the ship and this great maritime mystery is up there with the Mary Celeste and the Flying Dutchman.

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What Titanic Left Behind: This Forgotten Mansion Was Owned By A Family Taken By Maritime Tragedy
Thetravel.com, 15 Jul 2021

The nearly-forgotten home of Lynnewood Hall was once considered to be one of the finest mansions in the country from the Gilded Age. It also held the title as being the finest home in the state of Pennsylvania but with so many Neo-Classical Revival features, that was not a tough challenge to overcome. What more interesting – and tragic – is the family who once owned this mansion, and how their lives were intertwined with that of the biggest maritime disaster in history: The Titanic.


Titanic News: OceanGate Dives to Titanic, Can AI Detect Icebergs?

Historian Talks About Family’s Incredible Survival Story Aboard The Titanic
Wwaytv3.com, 13 Jul 2021

Visitors to the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach got an intimate look at a family who survived the Titanic. Julie Hedgepeth Williams travels across the country to tell the story of her great uncle, Albert Caldwell. Caldwell, his wife and infant son were one of a few families to survive the sinking of the Titanic fully intact.

OceanGate Sub Makes First Dive To Titanic Wreck Site And Captures Photos Of Debris
Geekwire, 13 Jul 2014

The first fruits of OceanGate’s 12,500-foot-deep dive in the North Atlantic include photos that show the frame of a stained-glass window and fragments of floor tile from the ocean liner, which hit an iceberg and sank during its maiden voyage from England to New York in 1912. The loss of the ship and more than 1,500 of the people who were on board — plus the wreck’s rediscovery in 1985 — made the saga of the Titanic one of the history’s best-known sea tragedies.

Boat Built In Same Shipyard As The Titanic To Become Gloucester Docks’ New Restaurant
Soglos.com, 13 July 2021

It was built in the same Belfast shipyard as RMS Titanic in 1911 and spent decades working the River Severn, now the Ribchic Piranha is to be reborn as The Showman – a new floating restaurant at Gloucester Docks. Businessman Marcus Hyland bought the boat in 2017 when the one-time converted tanker came to the end of its days ferrying passengers between Worcester and Stourport and serving as a floating pub.

Can Artificial Intelligence Detect Sea-Ice And Enhance Safety?
Fossbytes.com, 12 Jul 2021

Often, we all wonder if the Unsinkable Ship ‘The Titanic’ could have been saved from the iceberg. Well, the answer lies with technology; if the world was capable enough to identify the turmoils and barriers in the deep sea, so many accidents, not only Titanic, wouldn’t have happened. Today, our marine and navigation system has evolved. Adverse climatic conditions and all those affecting the movements in deep-sea can be identified and prevented too. But one such factor, which requires much attention, is the ice and small glaciers. Often captains and marine experts have mentioned different kinds of ice that pose a significant threat to the ships.

From the Jack and Rose File:

How Titanic Teased Jack’s Death At The Beginning Of The Movie
Screen Rant, 12 Jul 2021


Titanic, historic ship, and general history news.