Belfast’s part in the story would likely have faded into the background had the ship’s story run a normal course. The same would have been the case for Queenstown, later Cobh. And Addergoole in County Mayo would have been off the map altogether, though some in the village might have harbored memories of family members having once sailed to America on a ship named, well, didn’t its name begin with a T?
Can you imagine finding out some tea cups you bought at yard sale were actually related to Titanic? Well in this case, it happened. The cups were made for the White Star Line. They may never have been on Titanic but perhaps used on Olympic or Brittanic.
“Not the Titanic, that would be quite difficult. If they were from the Titanic, I would be standing back and saying these are worth a lot of money.” But they could have been from the Olympic or the Britannic the sister-ships, which of course, were virtually the same,” he continued. “And all the White Star Lines had this White Star china. These were from the first-class accommodation so if you went down for breakfast, afternoon tea, these are the cups you drink from.
Ballard will always be remembered for Titanic but did find a lot of other ships and uncovered a lot of information about the undersea world
Ballard would go on to find numerous shipwrecks, but his greatest achievement: “We found a whole other life system that was living not off the sun, but the energy of the earth itself,” he said. At 79, Ballard said he’s still discovering new things – even about himself. He realized late in life that he has dyslexia. “It’s a gift that I was able to turn into a gift,” he said. Ballard believes it forced him to think differently and face failure, which he calls the greatest teacher of all. “And so that’s the message. Don’t let them knock you down and keep you down. Get up. You’ll be fine,” he said.
The stories of two working class Brits who survived the Titanic have been pieced together for the first time. The sinking 110 years ago cost 1,517 people their lives. But while some 60% of first class passengers were saved, only 25% of those in third class made it – and just 207 of the 892 crew. But the survival stories of two on board, a ladies’ maid and a ship’s stoker, have been unravelled for a new series of Tony Robinson’s History of Britain on Channel 5.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it! “(George Santayana-1905)
What is going on today regarding the Ukraine recalls one of the greater mistakes made prior to the outbreak of general war in 1939. Hitler had been in power since 1933 and re-fashioned the new German state on the ideas of National Socialism based on the Italian version of fascism. This new Germany began to rebuild itself fast repudiating the limitations of the Versailles Treaty imposed on them. Everything was changed to conform to the new order from education to what music they could listen to. Religious schools were shuttered forcing all children to attend public schools where the ideals of the new order would be taught. The Nazi’s (a shortening of a much longer name of the political party) had a special desire to exclude those who did not fit into their idea of what a person was. Jewish people were the top targets along with a long list of others (Polish, Gypsies, anyone of African descent, homosexuals, pacifists etc.) With full control of the print, radio, and film media, everyone got the party line no matter where they went. Opposition media was silenced and only by listening to forbidden foreign radio could you learn what was going on.
Despite how Germany broke its agreements, not one of the major powers (France, Great Britain, or the United States) officially said much nor really try to stop them (such as when they marched into the Rhineland on 7 Mar 1936)) Sure there were some politicians or opinion writers who expressed alarm and concern, but no one really cared at that point what Winston Churchill had to say since his own party ignored him. Nazi leaders were ecstatic when in August 1936 the world came to see the summer Olympics. They were pleased to show the world how much Germany had come back from its defeat after World War I. Sure people criticized holding the Olympics in a country that was violently antisemitic, but it went on anyway giving the Nazi’s a platform to show off the new Germany to the world. And many bought into it and even admired Hitler, with all his faults, for his accomplishments.
As Germany re-armed, it looked to expand its frontiers and bring into being a Greater Germany. Hitler was Austrian and both countries had close ties sharing a common language and culture. Many in Austria already supported such an idea long before the Nazi’s came into power. The Nazi’s had tried in 1934 in supporting a coup attempt, but it failed. By 1938 Germany was in a better position. Politicians and groups sympathetic to Hitler and unification in Austria were loudly calling for it. Austrian chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg hoped that a referendum on the issue set for 13 March 1938 would resolve. Hitler instead threatened to invade and through his agents asked him to resign. The referendum was canceled and on 12 Mar 1938, German troops entered Austria and were unopposed. The long-wanted Anschluss had finally occurred. Neither Great Britain nor France was willing to offer any assistance to stop it from happening. In fact, many uttered support for it.
That brings us to the events of the Munich Conference of September 1938. Around the same time that Austria was being swallowed up, Hitler began also saying that the German speaking people in the Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia wanted closer times with Germany. He began speaking publicly that this region should also be part of the Greater Germany as well. And he ominously spoke of forcibly acquiring if Czechoslovakia did not hand this area over to him. Austria had been taken without a fight and in London and Paris there was concern of a real war that might break out. The position of both governments was to avoid total war; they did not want another World War I that devastated Europe. This policy of appeasement had many supporters in politics, academia, and the media. Those who argued against it were called warmongers, or worse. The problem was that both countries had signed treaties with Czechoslovakia that if they were attacked, their enemy became theirs.
They simply decided to abandon it by negotiating with Germany without any consultation with the Czechoslovakian government. They made a deal in which any area where fifty percent or more of German Sudetens that it would go to Germany. Hitler though sensed correctly that both the British (led by prime minister Neville Chamberlain) and the French (premier Édouard Daladier) were willing to give up more if it meant avoiding war. He knew the French had the best trained troops on the continent and the British an excellent navy. Yet neither were willing to put any of that up as a possible stop to his ambitions. They never offered that they would defend Czechoslovakia if he did not make a deal to avoid war. That was not ever on the table and Hitler knew he could get want he wanted just by making threats.
By threatening to move German troops into Czechoslovakia, he forced the British and French to call for a conference to settle the issue. And that begot the Munich Conference of 29 Sept 1938 in which the British, French, Italians, and Germans attended to find a peaceful solution to this crisis. Absent from this was anyone the Czechoslovakian government. The British and French agreed to hand over the area demanded by Hitler to Germany. The Czechoslovakians were told they had to accept or be invaded. It was a great victory for Hitler. Two great powers had groveled before him giving him land that had rich industrial resources that would feed the German war machine.
Neville Chamberlain was welcomed back to resounding applause in Britain. The agreement got applause from many in Parliament, academia, and the press. The public seemed to like it as well. After Chamberlain got off his plane and read the statement signed by Hitler, he famously said it was “peace in our time.” Other leaders in Europe breathed a sigh of relief thinking it would curtail German ambitions. It was one of the greatest misjudgments in history and that clip would famously show how Chamberlain was duped by a tyrant. That image would become so ingrained that appeasement completely fell out of the vocabulary only being used in history books or to accuse someone of going down that dangerous path again.
Czechoslovakia was abandoned by its allies. In October 1938, it was forced to hand over under the Vienna Award territory in its south to Hungary and a small concession to Poland. In March 1939, after Slovakia seceded to become a pro-German state, Hitler demanded Czechoslovakia accede to German occupation, which it did. Czechoslovakia then became a protectorate of the Third Reich. Churchill had warned the Munich Agreement was a bad omen and it proved accurate. Both the British and French handed Hitler his prize on a plate without him ever firing a shot. With his taking over Czechoslovakia, it showed how appeasement was a failed policy.
In both countries, and in other European capitals, it became obvious Germany was on the move to expand with its growing military power. Suddenly the prospect of real war became a reality. Chamberlain had to change policy and start agreements with other countries to deter Hitler. But the die was cast, and war would come officially in September 1939. This time the British and French offered their support to Poland if Germany invaded. Hitler was not worried as neither power moved any military in defense of Poland. His only worry was the French. If they moved against him while the bulk of his troops were in the east, it would be a big problem. He gambled-and he was right-that the French would not launch an attack as they did not want war yet. Both countries did declare war on Germany as the result of invading Poland, but they did nothing to stop it.
The lesson from what happened in Munich still applies today. You negotiate from strength and not from weakness. Once Hitler knew neither of the great powers would do anything to stop him, he pretty much could get everything he wanted since he knew they wanted to avoid war and willing to sacrifice Czechoslovakia. Had Chamberlain showed up saying they would blockade German ports, cut them off from the world-wide banking system if he did this, Hitler would have had to pause to consider his options. Perhaps he would have backed away. We will never know. If you are foolish enough to take off the table anything that will deter the aggressor, and only threaten to punish after the fact, it is not likely to work. Everyone knew Germany would invade Poland, but no one knew when and were dumbfounded by the pact between German and the Soviet Union that divided up that country. Stalin too was fooled by Hitler and shows even other tyrants can be foolish as well.
As we march into another European war, our leaders better remember the lessons of Munich. It led to a long brutal war that tore Europe apart leaving wounds to this day that have not completely healed. And six million Jews dead because those same leaders also foolishly thought it just careless words he wanted to rid the world of Jews.
Although today is referred to as “President’s Day” it is not a federal holiday by that name. It is officially designated as Washington’s Birthday under federal law. There was a movement to combine both Washington and Lincoln’s birthday (since they occur days apart) or honor the office of president. That never came to be. Instead in 1968 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was past and came into force in 1971. That shifted most federal holidays to a Monday if it fell during the week. Washington’s Birthday name was not changed and so under federal law it is still Washington’s Birthday. However many states issue their own proclamations celebrating not only Washington but Lincoln and others from their own state. Advertisers have caught on as well. So today many call it President’s Day but who it commemorates beyond George Washington is up to the state governors.
The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize.
President George Washington,Farewell Address, 19 September 1799.
We’re all familiar with the story of the RMS Titanic, the British passenger liner that hit an iceberg in the Atlantic ocean and sank during her maiden voyage in 1912. What few people realize, however, is that the Titanic was not the first ship to sink during its first journey, and by no means the last. Some faced a similarly overwhelming number of casualties, while others were more fortunate. From German battleships to Dutch trading vessels, here are ten lesser-known ships that sank during their maiden voyages.
What happened during those years is the subject of rumors and theories. It was said that, initially, Gibson was a sympathizer of Nazism and also that he was an intelligence agent, although the information that has reached our days in this regard is unreliable and contradictory. In 1944, Gibson refused to participate in the Nazi regime and was arrested as an anti-fascist agitator. The exactress was incarcerated in a prison in Milan, from where she managed to escape with two other prisoners, a journalist and a general, both Italians. The Archbishop of Milan, Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, was a key figure in rescuing him. The second of his life.
Valentine’s Day is used by many to show their affection or love for someone they care about. It has spawned an industry for greeting card makers, candies, and of course flowers. However there is a real religious component as many Christian denominations celebrate it as feast day, commemoration, or optional for the local diocese (such as the Catholic Church). Valentine was the name of many Christian martyrs in the early Church resulting in them all being remembered for their acts of sacrifice for the faith. Some denominations, such as Eastern Orthodox Church, celebrate a particular St. Valentine on two different days.
The association with romantic love could be linked to an ancient Roman festival has been made but there is no evidence of any link. Most seem to believe the link began with Chaucer’s Parlemont of Foules where he indicates birds choose their mates on St. Valentine’s Day although 14 Feb might not be the day Chaucer was referring to. Other poems made the association of love and St. Valentine’s Day in the medieval period and English Renaissance. For those who needed love verses but lacked the ability to compose them, publishers starting offering them. Then putting them on paper and sending them became possible. Paper valentines became very popular in 19th century England resulting in their industrial production. They became popular in the United States as well. With such cards being popular, you needed other things to accompany a card. Roses and chocolates became popular, likely due to skillful marketing to associate them with the day. And so Valentine’s Day became a very major day for greeting card companies, chocolate makers, and sellers of flowers (roses being the most popular flower for the day).
Of course we ought to remember that it is based upon Valentine, who became a saint after he was martyred in Rome in 269 and buried on Flaminian Way. He is the patron saint of Love, Young People, Happy Marriages.
An Edinburgh man was shocked to discover a 110-year-old newspaper from the day after the Titanic sank – after sorting through his late grandmother’s belongings. Graeme McCallum, 34, found the newspaper in a box of memories from his gran, who sadly passed away in 2006. He believes that her dad, his great-great grandfather, would have bought the Mirror newspaper, now believed to be worth £6,000, while living in Newcastle in 1912. Graeme shared the amazing find with his 70-year-old dad John, who was able to shed some light on how the over 100-year-old paper ended up in Edinburgh.
It is amazing how many clever theories have been thought up about the fictional characters Jack and Rose from Cameron’s Titanic. It makes for entertaining reading on its own. Now a new one is that Jack was a time traveler from the future sent back to save Rose. Using some of Jack’s lines that seem to indicate historical inaccuracies as they have not yet happened, this is putting some creative minds to work about Jack the Time Traveler. And there is a tie in to another one of Cameron’s great movies, The Terminator. I will not spoil what that is here.
Molly Brown was a first-class passenger of the Titanic who was looked down upon by other women from that same social status, particularly Rose’s mom, who described her as “vulgar” and “new money”. Molly was different from them in terms of her being open-minded, comprehensive, empathetic, and kind to everyone, not just those from first-class. Molly famously helped Jack get ready for dinner at the first-class dining saloon and lent him a suit that was for her son, and in the final act of Titanic, she did her best to convince the crew in her lifeboat to return to save more passengers, but the crewman opposed. Molly Brown is one of the characters in Titanic who are based on a real person, and the real Molly Brown’s story is an interesting one.
There’s no doubt about that. Some experts hypothesize that the rest of the Titanic will fully disintegrate within the next few decades. And we have bacteria to blame: The minuscule microbes, a hodgepodge that both creates rust and then consumes it, are actively recycling the ship’s parts into the ocean ecosystem at this very moment.
For millennia, people navigated and traded across the northern coast of Australia and the Coral Sea. When early European seafarers came face-to-face with the world’s largest coral reef system, it was not the beauty they saw, but a nearly unnavigable structure that could easily sink their ships. Throughout the past 230 years, over 1,200 vessels met their end on the reef – but only 114 have been found. Each site holds the potential for a wealth of archaeological and historic heritage, as well as tales of disaster, death and lessons learnt about the reef. Preservation, future management and care of these sites is essential.
It should come as no surprise then, that some props take on a life of their own. They become cultural touchstones, instantly recognizable even by those who have never seen the film in question. In celebration of the way these sometimes ordinary, sometimes out-of-this-world objects have defined our culture and lives, Stacker surveyed popular film history and chose 25 memorable and meaningful props, and found out where they are now.
January has been sent to the exit and we welcome February. February is the second month on the current Gregorian and the old Julian calendar. The month is the shortest on the calendar: 28 days in regular years and 29 during a leap year. Meteorologically speaking, it is the last month of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. However, winter can and often does continue after February no matter what a certain groundhog indicates. February comes from Februa, a Roman ritual of cleansing. The amethyst is the birthstone for February with its birth flowers are the viola and the primrose.
Why the leap year?
The old Roman calendar was ten months, which began in March and ended in December. When January and February were added it meant February became the last month of the year. That meant the month had to have 28 days to fit into the calendar. A leap month was introduced every few years after February to make room for the thirteenth month. This meant February had to be shortened. As you might guess, this made things a bit confusing. Julius Caesar introduced the new calendar in 46 BC (named for him of course). He abolished the 13th month and introduced the leap year so that every fourth year, February would have 29 instead of 28 days. Thus, the leap year was born and became part of the Gregorian calendar as well.
February has some important events in it. There is Groundhog Day (Feb 2) where a groundhog comes out of its burrow in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, and its behavior determines–if he goes back in or stays out–whether winter will last six weeks more, or spring will start early. German immigrants used to see hedgehogs coming out of hibernation as a sign of winter ending back in Germany. Unfortunately, hedgehogs are not found in the wild in Pennsylvania (or most of North America except as domesticated pets where allowed) so the groundhog became the substitute.
For many Americans, Superbowl Sunday (the first Sunday in February) is the big event where two top teams in the NFL duke it out. It is one the biggest sports events of the year and millions tune in to watch. Fast food places get lots of orders for delivery on that day and bars showing the game are often overflowing (at least before the Covid shutdown). And the ads for the game itself are specially tailored for the event. For everyone else (like some friends of mine), watching the original Star Wars IV, V, and VI or The Godfather I & II are that Sunday afternoon.
Of course, the other big day is Valentine’s Day on February 14 which is celebrated in the U.S. and around the world as well. Restaurants, florists, and chocolate makers all are major beneficiaries of this day set aside to show our affection to our wives, girlfriends, and others close to us.