Titanic News: Ballard on Secret Mission;Titanic Movie Stars Helped Titanic Survivor; Changes to Maritime Law Coming

The US Navy Backed The Hunt For Titanic In Part Because The Explorer Who Found It Argued It Would ‘Drive The Soviets Crazy,’ Book Reveals Business Insider (India), 23 Sep 2021

The man who found the Titanic did so with help from the US Navy, and he got that much needed support in part by convincing the Navy that finding the shipwreck would “drive the Soviets crazy,” renowned explorer Robert Ballard reveals in the new book “Into The Deep,” which was co-written with investigative reporter Christopher Drew. Over the course of his celebrated career, Ballard has discovered the wrecks of the Nazi battleship Bismarck, the US aircraft carrier Yorktown, and US patrol torpedo boat PT-109 (commanded by then Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy). But his most recognizable discovery was the British passenger ship Titanic that sank in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, ending more than 1,500 lives.

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When the Stars of Titanic Helped Pay the Bills for the Last Titanic Survivor MSN (via Mental_Floss), 24 Sep 2021

So in early May of that year, Irish author Don Mullan, a longtime friend of Dean’s, led the charge to raise money for her. He himself sold copies of a photo he’d taken of Dean and turned his earnings over to what was dubbed the “Millvina Fund.” And then he called upon the major players in the making of 1997’s Titanic—namely, James Cameron, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, 20th Century Fox, and Celine Dion—to match his contribution. “There were people out there who could, and I felt, morally should, help her. To fail Millvina Dean, the last tangible living link to the Titanic, would make a mockery of the world’s expressed concern for the tragedy,” Mullan explained to Independent.ie. His public plea actually worked. According to Reuters, Cameron, Winslet, and DiCaprio gave a combined $30,000 to the fund. Dean, for her part, was mainly just bothered by the influx of phone calls brought on by the attention.

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Bill Would Change Maritime Liability Rules After Boat Fire MSN (via AP), 22 Sept 2021

Federal lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would change 19th century maritime liability rules in response to the 2019 boat fire off the coast of Southern California that killed 34 people. The bill would update the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, under which boat owners can limit their liability to the value of the remains of the vessel. The legislation would be retroactively applied to the families of Conception victims if it passes, officials said. The tragedy was one of the deadliest maritime disasters in recent U.S. history.


Autumn Equinox Today

There are two equinoxes in the year, Autumn (September) and Spring (March). When these equinoxes occur the sun is directly on the equator, and the length of day and night is almost equal. In the Northern hemisphere, the September Equinox heralds autumn but the opposite below the equator where it heralds the beginning of spring. The Autumn Equinox begins today at 19:21 UTC (go here to see the time it begins in your area).

Solstices and Equinoxes
Image: NASA
Photo:David Wagner(publicdomainpictures.net)

For those of us in the North, it means a transition from summer to winter.  During this period  days start getting shorter and nights longer. Depending on where you live, you will likely have moderate warm days followed by long and cooler nights. Harvests of many crops often take place during the fall and in the old days you would make preparations to store food for the winter. Harvest festivals are very popular and in particular Halloween. Pumpkins begin appearing along with all kinds of Halloween decor culminating, of course, in All Hallows Eve (Halloween) on October 31.

Shop for all things Halloween at the Halloween Store

Happy Monday: Ships Bell on Display on Nomadic, Sinking of Ship Possibly Triggered Economic Crisis

 

SS Nomadic (1911) is now a museum ship in Belfast. Photo taken in 2018.
Image Credit: Irid Escent/Wikimedia Commons

Ship’s Bell Donated By Bempton Man Now On Display As Part Of SS Nomadic Exhibition In Belfast (Bridlington Free Press, 16 Sept 2021)

A ship’s bell donated by a Bempton man has gone on display on the restored SS Nomadic vessel, which has close connections to the Titanic. This month he received a message from its Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Sweeney saying the display on the Nomadic was complete with all three of his nautical items on show. The Nomadic was a Tender to RMS Titanic and is the last remaining White Star Line ship in the world. It is located near the Titanic Quarter attraction at Belfast’s historic Hamilton Dock.

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Gold-Laden Ship’s Sinking Off NC Coast Sparked Economic Crisis (DailyAdvance.com, 16 Sep 2021)

In 1857, just before the beginning of the Civil War, the sinking of the S.S. Central America 200 miles off the North Carolina coast caught so much attention it could be called the 19th century’s Titanic. But unlike the Titanic, a hurricane was to blame for this shipwreck that resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives and significant amounts of gold. The amount of gold lost was in fact so great that it could be directly associated with the economic downturn that took place in 1857. It was a very short crisis that was sparked by a loss of public trust in financial institutions after gold payments were suspended. The crisis, along with the shipwreck itself, has been greatly overshadowed by the Civil War that began just a few years later. That said, both events were major news stories at the time.


Happy Sunday, Welcome to Autumn

You really notice by now that summer hours are fading fast. It is getting darker early and the official start of autumn is just a few days away. We now say goodbye to summer and begin the melancholy season as nights get cooler, leaves fall off trees, and there is a smokiness in the air. And of course Halloween. Stores are already stocked up and some I have seem even have a few Christmas items already in stock. And it is time for my favorite character, the Headless Horseman to make his famous ride.

Origins of Titanic, New Book Claims All Titanic Passengers Could Have Been Saved, and Lego Update

 

Titanic Memorial Belfast
Photo:Public Domain

A Story That Can Only Be Told In Belfast: What Are The Origins Of The ‘Unsinkable’ Titanic?
Euronews.com, 13 Sep 2021

Despite being located at either end of the island of Ireland, the ports of Belfast and Cork (Cobh) are connected by one of the world’s most infamous shipping disasters. Told many times in books, theatre performances and movies, the story of the Titanic is one that is indelibly etched in people’s minds. However the story can really only be understood once you have visited the places the Titanic was created.

 

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

Every Passenger On The Titanic Could Have Been Saved, Claims Gripping New Book
Daily Express, 13 Sept 2021

But a dramatic new book explodes that fantasy. “Every soul on the Titanic could have been saved,” says historian William Hazelgrove, author of One Hundred and Sixty Minutes: The Race to Save The RMS Titanic, published this month. “The myth says the Titanic was alone out on the Atlantic, but two ships – the SS Californian and the SS Mount Temple ?were so close that they saw the Titanic sinking, only failing to act out of cowardice and incompetence.

And for those Lego fans hoping for the Titanic set to come out:

Revised Piece Count For Rumoured LEGO for Adults 10294 Titanic
Brickfanatics, 13 Sep 2021

However, Instagram user exabrickslegogo_ now claims that 10294 Titanic will consist of ‘only’ 9,090 pieces, a part count that would probably seem way more impressive if it wasn’t coming back down from 12,000. As it stands, though, it would still be the biggest non-LEGO Art set in the portfolio by 54 bricks, just eking past 10276 Colosseum.

 


Titanic News-Titanic Lego May Be 12,000 Bricks, Sinking Slide Reappearance, Countess of Rothes Home Becoming Flats

The Rumoured LEGO Titanic Could Include Over 12,000 BricksBrickfanatics.com, 9 Sep 2021

First details for the rumoured LEGO Titanic set have surfaced including the size, release date and price of the potentially massive model. A new report for the long-rumoured LEGO Titanic build has appeared online thanks to lego_club_news on Instagram. If true, this could be easily the largest official LEGO set to release, beating that of 10276 Colosseum and even 31203 World Map.

Leslie House: Restoration Finally Under Way At The Home Of Titanic Heroine
The Courier, 9 Sep 2021

The A-listed building, home of Titanic heroine the Countess of Rothes, was gutted by fire in 2009 and has since been targeted by vandals. But it will soon be transformed into 28 flats after planning permission was granted last year. And a further eight houses will also be built in the grounds. The work is being done by Byzantium Developments, who say it will bring one of Scotland’s most at risk mansion houses back to its former glory.

Titanic Bouncy Slide
Photo:public domain

Sinking Titanic’ Slide Makes Another Appearance At A Chicago Street Fest, For Some Reason
Chicago Sun-Times, 8 Sept 2021

Since the sinking of the Titanic more than 100 years ago, the maritime tragedy has been etched into our collective memory, in large part thanks to a mid-90s blockbuster movie that turned the ill-fated voyage into a thrilling epic of romance and disaster. These days, kids in Chicago apparently have another way to remember the Titanic: a giant inflatable slide that keeps showing up at local street fairs, including one that happened last weekend in Roscoe Village.

Islands of Ireland: The Opulent Bradock Island With Links To The Titanic
Irish Examiner, 6 Sep 2021

The island has been owned by the Andrews family for over 150 years who have had strong links to political life in the North. With judges and MPs among their numbers, including a prime minister John Andrews, the family was synonymous with political life in the North for many years. One son chose a different career path and it was a choice that would ultimately lead to his death.

 

How Transatlantic Ocean Liners Ferried Women Into The Workforce
Wburg.org, 6 Sep 2021

Evans shared these womens’ stories at a recent virtual event put on by the American Ancestors Speaker series from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. There was great danger on the ships: The Titanic struck an iceberg. The Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915. The Britannic hit a mine in 1916. Violet Jessop survived all three sinkings and witnessed lifeboats being lowered from the Britannic right into rising propellers. Jessop was a stewardess serving first-class passengers — part of a new female workforce unparalleled on land.

 


Remembering 9/11/2001

he northeast face of Two World Trade Center (south tower) after being struck by plane in the south face.
September 11, 2001
Source: Robert (Flickr(

It was a day that changed America. Planes hijacked by terrorists flew into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center. Another plane would crash into the Pentagon. And a fourth plane that was destined for a target in Washington D.C. crash-landed into a field in Pennsylvania. The extreme heat caused by the fires from the impact of the planes would cause the collapse of the two towers.

Picture of the World Trade Center on 9/11 shortly after the WTC1 had collapsed.
September 11, 2001
Source: Wally Gobetz

Firefighters and police raced to the towers trying to rescue those trapped inside the burning buildings. Stories of their heroism in getting people out are extraordinary examples of courage that are both remarkable and breathtaking. Things were so dire at one point that some jumped out of windows to the shock of people watching. And when the buildings collapsed, many of these brave firefighters and police were killed. As the rubble was cleared later, every body of a fallen firefighter and police officer was removed with great care and respect.

Ground Zero, New York City, N.Y. (Sept. 17, 2001)
Source: U.S.Navy
Public Domain

More than 3,000 people were killed (including 400 police and firefighters). Over 10,000 were wounded during the attacks on 9/11. Some suffered long term effects due to smoke inhalation and toxic chemicals that were burning at the time. The attacks of 9/11 was the most devastating foreign attack on American soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

We take time today to remember the fallen of 9/11. They went to work, got on planes, and did countless other things not knowing the evil that was about to take place. Countless lives were changed that day. Families were shattered with the loss of a husband or wife, beloved son or daughter. Friends were never seen again having perished in the towers, the Pentagon, or a passenger on the planes used as weapons.

We cannot forget those who perished on this day. And the heroic sacrifices of first responders- firefighters and police-who tried to save lives cannot be forgotten either.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

(Part of Pope Benedict XVI prayer from his visit to New York Ground Zero in 2008.)

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Battle of Lake Erie (10 Sept 1813)

Battle of Lake Erie by William Henry Powell (1823–1879)
U.S. Senate Art Collection, U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C.
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Battle of Lake Erie (10 September 1813)

 During the War of 1812, control over Lake Erie and the Northwest were crucial to both the British and the United States. The War of 1812 between the British and the United States resulted from simmering tensions between the two since the end of the American War of Independence. Though long over by this time, tensions existed between the two.  The British had attempted to restrict U.S. trade. During the Napoleonic Wars, the U.S. was neutral, but the British were not happy with American merchant ships supplying the French with supplies. Another issue was the forced impressment of American seamen. To fill out their crews, the British Royal Navy would stop merchant ships and take some of their crews forcing them into Royal Navy service. Additionally, tension over the U.S. desire to expand its territory led to clashes with the British as well.

These and other things led President James Madison to declare war on Great Britain on 18 June 1812. While it passed Congress (barely), it was not popular in New England since they heavily relied on trade. Western and Southern states generally supported the war. However, the realities of war would soon set in. The attempt to take Canada was a failure and resulted in a humiliating defeat on 16 August 1812 with Detroit being surrendered without firing a shot. The American Navy was aided early on with the fact the British were also fighting Napoleon so not all their ships were committed. One notable naval battle was at Lake Michigan in 1813. At stake in this battle was control of Detroit, Lake Erie, and nearby territories the U.S had claims on.

The American naval forces were led by Captain Oliver Hazard Perry, who had nine ships. The British had six warships led by Commander Robert Heriot Barclay. Barclay was an experienced naval officer who had served under Nelson at Trafalgar. The British were armed with long gun cannons that gave them a range of about a full mile, while the Americans used carronades that had half the range of the British cannons. This meant that Perry would inflict a lot of damage but at closer range. At first the wind was against Perry in the morning and then shifted giving him an advantage. He would raise a famous navy-blue banner written with the words “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP” as the slogan to rally his officers.

The ensuing battle would last for hours, and Perry would lose his flagship Lawrence. He transferred his flag over to the Niagara and then sailed straight into the British line firing broadsides that ultimately gave him the win when they surrendered. Perry lost 27 sailors and 96 wounded, while the British lost 40 dead and left with 94 wounded. Perry sent a famous dispatch to U.S. General William Henry Harrison that said, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” The British were forced to abandon Detroit after the Battle of the Thames resulting in American control of the area.

Aftermath

The victory was an important one when many battles had gone against the United States. The Royal Navy was still fighting Napoleon so not of its navy was committed to North America. This would change in April 1814 when Napoleon was defeated. With both ships and troops now freed up, they raided Chesapeake Bay and moved on the capital of Washington D.C. burning it and other government buildings to the ground on 24 August 1814.

On 11 September 1814, the American navy defeated the British fleet at the Battle of Plattsburgh at Lake Champlain, New York. A furious battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore took place on 13 September 1814 and withstood 25 hours of bombardment by the British navy. After the bombardment had ended, the Americans raised a large flag over the fort to show they had survived the bombardment. Seeing the flag being raised inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem that later would be set to music called “Star Spangled Banner.” British forces withdrew and prepared to act against New Orleans. Negotiations for a peace settlement were undertaken not long after in Ghent (modern day Belgium). The resulting Treaty of Ghent would abolish the taking of American sailors from merchant ships for British naval service, solidify the borders of Canada as we know them today, and end British attempts to create an Indian state in the Northwest. The treaty was signed on Christmas Eve, 1814. Formal ratification would be in February 1815.

It was during this time that the famous Battle of New Orleans would occur. On 8 January 1815, British forces (unaware of the peace deal yet due to slow communications of the time) launched a major attack on New Orleans. General Andrew Jackson led the Americans in this famous battle and defeated the British soundly. News of the battle was another boost to American morale and likely convinced the British that they were right to get out of this war as well. For Canadians and Native Americans, it ended their attempt to govern themselves. For Americans, it ushered in a new time of good feelings ending the partisan divisions that had grown since the Revolutionary War. National self-c0nfidence would ensue and a growing spirit of expansionism that would shape the rest of the 19th century. The country resulting from it would be comprised of states and territories that went from New York on the Atlantic Ocean to San Francisco on the Pacific making it one of the largest countries in the world.

Sources:

Titanic News: Titanic Conspiracy?; Titanic II, and Jewish Titanic Passengers

 

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

House Belonging To A Titanic Survivor Still Stands In Toronto
BlogTO, 4 Sept 2021

There’s a house still standing in Toronto where a Titanic survivor and her family used to live during the 1920’s. Emma Bliss lived at 1063 Davenport Road in 1923, according to Encyclopedia Titanica, a crowdsourced community-based project that’s been collecting research on the Titanic for 25 years.

Titanic Conspiracy Theory Claims the Ship Never Sank
Greek Reporter, 3 Sept 2021The Titanic never sank, claims one of the foremost –among the many– conspiracy theories about major world events. Almost a century after the naval tragedy, the far-fetched proposition presents the argument that the historic ship never sank and instead its sister ocean liner was wrecked in its place.

Bow section of tanker SS Pendleton grounded near Pollock Rib lightship six miles off Chatham, Mass on the morning of Feb. 19, 1952.
Photo:Public Domain (U.S. Coast Guard)

Titanic II Might Sink Before It Sails
The Signal, 31 Aug 2021

Construction on the ship, which could cost over $1 billion, still had not begun. Again, the 2018 launch date passed with little word from Blue Star Line. Despite years of setbacks, many media outlets reported that Titanic II would finally sail in 2022. In a 2020 interview, Palmer stated that Blue Star Line had yet to select a launch date. Still, he insisted that Blue Star Line continues to work on the project. “The response has been incredible,” he said, with the company receiving over 30,000 expressions of interest. One hopeful guest, he added, offered over $1 million for a first-class cabin.

 

Titanic Museum – Branson, MO
Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

Titanic Connections: Branson Museum Honors Jewish Passengers, Remembers Holocaust
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 29 Aug 2021

One connection involved the Strauses. As research revealed, the Strauses’ nephew, Nathan, was a college friend of Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, when they were students at Heidelburg University in Germany, Kellogg says. “In 1909, Nathan Straus Jr. convinced his father to invite Otto Frank to New York to work at Macy’s,” the story continues. “Otto’s father encouraged this, believing it would be a good opportunity to practice English and learn about foreign commerce before Otto joined the family banking business in Frankfurt.”
Frank came to New York in September 1909 and returned to Germany in 1911, after his father’s death. Straus and Frank remained friends, even vacationing with their families in Switzerland in 1928, and when Frank needed help to try to get his family out of Holland in 1941, he wrote to Nathan Straus Jr. The families lost contact in November 1941, and Frank’s family went into hiding in July 1942

Titanic Tours: What To Know About These Underwater Excursions
The Travel, 25 Aug 2021

It’s safe to say that when an iceberg pierced the Titanic on its maiden voyage just over 100 years ago, no one was thinking about turning the shipwreck into a tourist attraction. But now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking, some travel companies are offering tours of the site. Visitors can take an expensive excursion or they can simply look on Google, where the wreck is pictured in all its rustic, 3-D glory.

Teacher, 31, Spends Eight Weeks Building Lego Replica Of The Titanic Using 25,000 Bricks That Capture Every Detail Of The Doomed Ship – As Well As The Iceberg
Daily Mail, 20 Aug 21

A Lego-mad teacher has built a replica of the Titanic, using 25,000 bricks to capture every detail of the doomed liner – right down to the iceberg which sealed its fate.


Titanic, historic ship, and general history news.