Monday Titanic News: Cost of Taking Titanic Today;Robert Ballard Gets A Ship Named for Him

RMS Olympic First Class Lounge (1912)
Photo: Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

 “People Are Stunned by How Expensive the Cheapest Room on the Titanic Was — ‘The Economy Is so Bad I Can’t Afford a Bed on a Boat That Sank.’” YourTango, 27 Jan. 2024,

The most luxurious accommodations, a “first-class parlour suite” complete with its own veranda, like the room Kate Winslet’s Rose DeWitt Bukater, her shrew of a mother and her snake of a fiancé had in the movie, went for 512 British pounds, 6 shillings, and 7 pence.  That’s a cool $49,680 in today’s money — the sort of spot billionaires like the Kardashians and Bezoses of our day would tuck into for the Titanic’s roughly seven-day trip from Southampton, U.K. to New York City. Knocking off the private veranda but keeping all the other finery cuts your ticket roughly in half to $24,033 for you mere millionaires out there, and if you still want first-class fare but don’t mind not having any windows you can come all the way down to $2,573. A bargain!


Image: Public Domain (NOAA)

 “SECNAV Celebrates the Naming of USNS Robert Ballard (T-AGS 67)(Press Release).” United States Navy,

“…tenured professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography and National Geographic Explorer at Large, Ballard is widely known as a discoverer of the final resting place of the RMS Titanic. The name selection of T-AGS 67 follows the tradition of naming survey ships after explorers, oceanographers and distinguished marine surveyors.”


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 “Titanic in Colour: Channel 4 to Air Documentary Set to Colourise the Black and White World of the RMS Titanic.” NationalWorld, 26 Jan. 2024,

But thanks to painstaking research and unique colourisation techniques, the world’s most famous sunken ship will be presented in full colour with “Titanic In Color.” The series, set to air on Channel 4 later this year, brings in living colour a brand new look on the cruise liner that was meant to become synonymous with sailing in style and glamour, rather than becoming a word to describe a colossal disaster or failure as it has been used for many years later.


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Remembering History: Auschwitz Liberated by Soviet Army (27 Sep 1945)

Child Survivors of Auschwitz, 1945
Public Domain (via Wikimedia)

On 27 Jan 1945, Soviet Union troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. In doing so, it revealed the horrors the Germans had perpetrated there. Auschwitz was a series of camps designated I, II, and III with also smaller satellite camps. Auschwitz II at Birkenau was the place where most of the exterminations at Auschwitz were done. Using four “bath houses,” prisoners were gassed to death and cremated. Prisoners were also used for ghastly medical experiments overseen by the infamous Josef Mengele (the “angel of death”).

As the Red Army approached, the SS began a murder spree and blew up the crematoria to try to cover up the evidence. When the Red Army finally got there, they found 648 corpses and 7,000 starving camp survivors. They also found six storehouses full of men’s and women’s clothes and other items the Germans were not able to burn before they left.

News Articles

How a Catholic pastor saved hundreds of his Jewish neighbors in the Warsaw Ghetto (Catholic News Agency, 27 Jan 2021)

For More Information:

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Yad Vashem


Friday Titanic News

Public Domain via

One of the oddities of studying shipwrecks is what is not damaged. Consider champagne. A alcoholic beverage often served in festive events is a highly pressurized drink. One opens it making sure you have it pointed away from anyone (or breakable objects) and doing it slowly.  Of course there is a more daring way of doing it by  sword. This technique is not for the faint of heart since if you screw it up, well,  all that wonderful champagne gets wasted.  There are some videos on YouTube , but this one is pretty good.

Regarding  the Titanic, champagne bottles found and brought up were found fully intact (there was some damage to the cork) and not imploded . This has been found true in other shipwrecks.  So how come this did not happen since Titanic is 2 miles down? Well the folks at IFL Science have an answer. And it not just sturdy glass.

 “Why Did Champagne Bottles on the Doomed Titanic Not Implode?” IFLScience, 25 Jan. 2024,

So how did the bottle escape this fate? People have suggested that part of the answer is the increased pressure inside the champagne bottle, caused by the carbon dioxide within it. The pressure inside a champagne bottle is higher than you’d imagine, going up to around 6 bar (90 psi), with 1 bar being around atmospheric pressure at sea level. Today’s champagne is kept in bottles that can withstand up to 20 bar (290 psi), while a metal fastener is often used to keep the cork in place.


Titanic Belfast (side view)
Image:Prioryman (Wikipedia)

Both Ireland and the UK were hit pretty hard when storm Isha blew through with high winds and lots of rain. In Belfast, the Titanic Exhibition roof was damaged so it is now closed to the end of the month.

 “Titanic Belfast Closed Until the End of the Month Following Storm Damage.”, 25 Jan. 2024,

Titanic Belfast will remain closed to the public until the end of the month due to damage due to Storm Isha. Damage was caused to the roof of the museum building on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard during the storm, which wreaked havoc across Northern Ireland earlier this week. Repairs were impeded due to further inclement weather.


I am not sure totally what to make of this story. It is about a guy who apparently is on a nine month world cruise and it is being heavily reported on social media. I guess all the interactions and places they are visiting warrants lots of comments. From what I gather, some think it could be a reality show! At any rate one of the cruise passengers was at lunch and commented that the ship was only 100 feet longer than Titanic. Well that caused stunned silence, utensils to drop, and a waiter to gasp. And then a passenger leaned over and said that Titanic is not mentioned aboard the ship. The TikToker was quite surprised at this unwritten rule and sort of flabbergasted it would be an issue. Now he did not post the video of this actually happening, so we have to take his word for it. Then again airlines do not show disaster movies-especially ones with airplanes-on long flights. Perhaps cruise lines might prefer you don’t mention it and probably avoid stocking such films on the onboard library. In that case the old clunker Raise The Titanic movie (excellent novel by Clive Cussler but a terrible adaptation) probably would be a better alternative.

“Passenger Discovers the One Word You Shouldn’t Say on a Cruise Is ‘Titanic.’”, 26 Jan. 2024,


And that is a wrap for this Friday. Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday Titanic News: Rare Postal Slip Comes Up for Auction, Dogs on Titanic, and Why No Human Remains at Titanic Wreck

Rare Piece of Titanic History up for Auction at Alex Cooper Auctioneers.” Baltimore Fishbowl, 22 Jan. 2024,

A rare piece of Titanic history will be up for bid later this month during a live auction on Jan. 27 by Towson’s Alex Cooper Auctioneers. The object available for auction is what’s called a “facing slip” from the mail room of the Titanic, the ocean liner that sank on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on the night of April 14-15, 1912. A facing slip was used by postal clerks for sorting mail. Each slip had a pre-printed destination, a handstamp that showed the ship’s postmark, name, and the name of the clerk who handled the mail.


Video: “Dramatic Tales From the Sinking of the Titanic Retold in New Exhibition.” ABC News, 22 Jan. 2024,


 “The Dogs of the Titanic.” Canine Chronicle,

Twelve dogs were confirmed as passengers on the Titanic, but other reports claim more. The original Titanic plans placed the dog kennels below on F Deck near the third class galley, and this is what is usually reported. However, many historians argue that the kennels were ultimately placed on the boat deck, in the area originally earmarked as the second class cloak room. Photographs of the area show open barred windows for ventilation, and this location on the boat deck, rather than below decks, would allow the dogs to be walked outside and make for easier clean-up.When the ship began to sink, somebody let all the dogs loose. The dogs added to the general chaos as they ran fore and aft on the listing deck of the sinking ship.


 “‘My Husband and Son Died on the Titanic Submarine.’” Mail Online, 14 Jan. 2024,

Christine Dawood still can’t quite believe that her husband of 20 years, Shahzada, and their precious son, Suleman, are no longer with her. It is now seven months since she last saw them climbing into the Titan submersible for, what she calls, ‘the big one’ in terms of this remarkable family’s many adventures. Last June, one hour and 45 minutes into the dive in the North Atlantic to view the wreck of the Titanic, off the coast of Newfoundland, the Titan lost communication with its support ship, the Polar Prince.


COSI announces new Titanic artifact exhibit. WTTE, 10 January 2024.

Your favorite local science center has announced an upcoming exhibit that will bring the history of the world’s most famous ocean-liner to life. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition will be at COSI from March 9 until Sept. 2 this year. More than 350 real artifacts from the Titanic will be on display at this exhibit, as well as full-scale room recreations.


Glassman, T. (2024, January 9). The first “Titanic” movie was shot in 1912 — and starred a woman who survived the sinking. The Messenger, 9 Jan 2024.

One month after the Titanic sank, Saved From the Titanic premiered in theaters. Billed as the “startling story of the sea’s greatest tragedy,” the film debuted to packed audiences. Though no surviving copy of the movie remains, a review from Moving Picture News declared, “Miss Dorothy Gibson, a heroine of the shipwreck and one of the most talked-of survivors, tells in this motion picture masterpiece of the enthralling tragedy among the icebergs.”


McAleavy, S. (2024, January). The Real Reason Why No Human Remains Have Been Found on Titanic Shipwreck. MSN. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from

Also, and more importantly, it’s the depth at which none of the remains of the 1,500 victims were found. As deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard explained, below 900 meters at this temperature is the carbonate compensation level. This means that once the bones are exposed after being ingested by fish and other marine scavengers, they begin to dissolve. In just a few years, they disappear completely. This is why, a century later, no remains of the Titanic castaways have been found.



Remembering History: Prohibition Ratified

Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol.
Public Domain (via Wikipedia)

On 16 January 1919, the 18th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was formally ratified. Under the 18th Amendment, the manufacture and distribution of alcohol in the United States (outside of industrial and sacramental use) was prohibited beginning a year later on 17 January 1920. Congress passed the Volstead Act to provide teeth to the law by allowing for enforcement of this law by the federal government, specifically a special unit of the Treasury Department. President Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act but overrode by Congress.

In the 19th century, temperance movements arose to address the growing problem of families being damaged when a husband or relative became addicted to alcohol. Also it was a means of curtailing acts of public drunkenness and related problems with people gathering to drink (gambling, prostitution etc.) The movement, religiously based in many cases, gathered steam and became a political one where it campaigned the state level for abstinence laws. In December 1917 Congress passed the amendment and sent it to the states for ratification.

All but two states ratified, a few after it had met the requisite number needed to amend the Constitution. Connecticut and Rhode Island were the two that rejected the amendment. Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin all ratified after 17 Jan 1919.


Enforcement at national and state levels became an issue right away. Neither Canada or Mexico were dry and illegal importation was an issue. Also with Cuba 90 miles away from Florida, it would provide another avenue for rum and other alcohols to be smuggled in. Breweries switched to making non-alcoholic beverages during this time. Wineries could only produce wine for sacramental (religious use), so they too had to turn to things like grape juice or apple cider. The law was not popular in a lot of cities, resulting in the rise of illegal places (called speakeasies) where you could drink alcohol.

To meet this need, many organized crime syndicates and gangs would supply the alcohol either by owning their own breweries and/or smuggling it in from outside the country. These crime syndicates would become enormously wealthy and corrupt local governments (police, politicians, judges) in order to stay in business. Competing gangs would sometimes duke it out on the streets leaving bodies of their enemies (and sometimes the innocent as well). Chicago became particularly notorious, both for its gangs and the depth of corruption. This prompted the federal government to target the Chicago Gang run by Al Capone. While they would raid his operations (done by the famous Elliott Ness), the financial investigation would lead to a successful conviction of tax fraud.

By the end of the decade, support for Prohibition had ebbed considerably. The rise of the organized crime, the fact many flouted the laws in large and small ways, and the difficulties encountered in enforcing the law all led to is eventual demise. When the Great Depression hit in 1929, many argued the alcohol industry could provide jobs. Franklin Roosevelt added it to his campaign plank in 1932. In 1933, the U.S. Congress passed the 21st Amendment to repeal the 18th (the first such Amendment to do this) which was swiftly passed by most states. A few remained dry (under the provisions of the 21st Amendment, a state could decide to stay dry) after that but today states no longer ban its sale. There are still some counties that are dry, including the one where the Jim Beam distillery is located in Kentucky.


“Prohibition Is Ratified by the States.” HISTORY,

 “Eighteenth Amendment | Definition, Summary, and Facts.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Jan. 2024,

“18th Amendment.” Constitution Annotated,


Prohibition Books Store

Remembering History:Boston Molasses Flood (15 Jan 1919)

For most of us, the notion that molasses would flood a city causing fatalities and destruction on its face seems implausible. Yet it happened in Boston in 1919.

Molasses tank in North End of Boston. Date unknown.
Public Domain (via Wikipedia)

Industrial alcohol (used for machinery and other industrial applications) was very profitable and used for the war effort. It was made from fermented molasses so large tanks were constructed to hold it. A giant tank for it was built in 1915 along Boston’s waterfront on Commercial Street. Operated by the Purity Distribution Company (a subsidiary of United States Industrial Alcohol). The tank was immense measuring 50 feet high, 90 feet in diameter and could hold up to 2.5 million gallons. Back then, the usual standard was to use rivets (welding had not been invented yet) when connecting sections of metal together. Because of the fumes caused by fermentation and the pressure created, it posed a risk. There were leaks and occasional rumbles, but a vent was in place and open during the spring, summer, and fall. However, they were sealed during the winter since temperatures were usually very cool.

Shipments for molasses came in from ships in the harbor and transferred to the tank. Then later it would be transferred to an ethanol plant via pipeline in Cambridge. A recent delivery of molasses had nearly filled the tank. But for Purity, there was another issue. With the war over and Prohibition coming, the demand for industrial alcohol was going to be severely limited (there were still uses from industrial to baking but lower demand meant lower revenues for the company).

Boston Post,January 16, 1919, describing the Boston Molasses Disaster.
Public Domain (via wikipedia)

January 15, 1919 was an unseasonably warm day with temperatures soaring up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and higher possibly by noon that day. With the vents closed, the fumes had nowhere to go and pressure built up inside the tank. At 12:30 pm people heard sounds that sounded like machine guns firing. It was likely the rivets being popped out by the pressure inside the tank. And then the tank exploded sending the nearly 2.5 million tons of molasses into Boston. The wave was estimated to be 15-40 feet tall and about 160 feet wide. Traveling at about 35 miles per hour, it destroyed several city blocks, leveled buildings, damaged autos and killed 21 people with 150 injured. Since molasses is very thick, it made for difficult breathing if it got into your nostrils or mouths. Many died from asphyxiation or drowned. Horses were knocked down and died on the spot with so many that many compared them to being sticky fly paper.

Boston molasses explosion
Source: U.S. Library of Congress,Digital ID: (digital file from original) anrc 1496

Clean-up efforts started immediately but lasted for quite a while. Molasses went everywhere and no matter where you went in Boston, you were likely to encounter the sticky stuff in some form. It was on subway platforms, inside streetcars, pay telephones, even inside public buildings. Pedestrians tracked the molasses everywhere they went spreading further. Cleanup crews were kept busy cleaning it all up using salt water. And from many accounts, it appears the city would smell like molasses for some years to come.


Fingers were pointed at the company, who tried initially to claim it was sabotage. An investigation into how it was built, and approvals were done showed a lot of corners were cut in its design and construction. Lawsuits were filed and consolidated into one of the first-class action suits ever to be done. Stories of known leaks where kids filled buckets with the leaking molasses did not help the company either. Ultimately the company paid out to victim’s families around $628,000.

The disaster highlighted the need for more rigorous standards for construction, required safety tests for tanks containing liquids, and ongoing safety checks. It was determined the company ignored basic safety tests when constructing and ignored the groaning sounds when tank was filled. Also the company used thinner steel than was commonly used for tanks in that day. They also covered up the leaks by painting the tank brown. Later investigations have shown that as the molasses left the exploded tank, it cooled due to the Boston temperatures making it more viscous (meaning it thickened up) as it went through the streets. This made rescue efforts more difficult and cleanup more difficult as well.

The tank was never rebuilt and the property became a yard for the Boston Elevated Railway (later the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority). Today is the site of a city owned recreational complex called Langone Park. To the east is the large Puopolo Park which has a small plaque on its entrance commemorating the disaster.


Today is Martin Luther King, Jr Day

Martin Luther King, Jr.(1964)
Photo:Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress digital id cph 3c26559)


The following stirring speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the best calls for equality in modern times. King reminds us that in seeking freedom not only for African-Americans, it is also for everyone. He wanted all people to be treated fairly, justly and not by the color of their skin but on the content of their character. He did not want it done out of bitterness or hatred but to work towards brotherhood where all would be free.  We honor and remember a man who sought freedom not by the gun but by peaceful and forceful demonstrations to remind many of the promises of this country and what God himself has taught us in Holy Scripture.

I Have A Dream
Lincoln Memorial
August 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men — yes, black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end but a beginning. Those who hoped that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “for whites only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends — so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi — from every mountainside.

Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring — when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children — black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics — will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Martin Luther King Jr (
Martin Luther King Jr (
Martin Luther King Jr Online


Remembering History: Siege of Leningrad Broken (12 Jan 1943)


The fire of anti-aircraft guns deployed in the neighborhood of St. Isaac’s cathedral during the defense of Leningrad (now called St. Petersburg, its pre-Soviet name) in 1941.
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

After German troops invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, one of their top cities to take control of was Leningrad (former St. Petersburg, then Petrograd). As the second largest city in the Soviet Union (and its capital under the Tsar’s), it held significant importance. In August 1941, German troops surrounded the city so nothing could get in or out. This also cut off the Leningrad-Moscow railway. The residents built anti-tank fortifications and defended the city with the resources they had. Hitler decided to wait them out in a siege hoping to break down the will of the residents. Some limited supplies were able to get in but not enough for all its residents. Starvation, disease, and injuries mounted up. They did manage to evacuate about a million elderly and young people out of the city but that left 2 million to deal with the dire situation.

Food was rationed and any open space was used to plant food.  On 12 January 1943, Soviet troops punched a hole rupturing the German siege allowing supplies to come in one Lake Ledoga. A Soviet counteroffensive on 27 Jan 1944 brought the siege to a complete end after 872 days. The Russian army lost, captured or missing 1,017,881 and 2,418,185 wounded or sick. 642,000 civilians died during the siege and, 400,000 during evacuations.


Soviet forces penetrate the siege of Leningrad. (2009, November 16). HISTORY.

Dean, M. (2020, October 21). Siege of Leningrad | World War 2 Facts. World War 2 Facts.

Check out books on Siege of Leningrad





Today is Christmas Day (Eastern Orthodox)

Today is Christmas Day in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Most Eastern Orthodox follow the Julian calendar for the liturgical year, which means Christmas is celebrated 13 days after it is celebrated in the West. The Eastern Orthodox churches in Constantinople (Istanbul), Alexandria, Antioch, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Romania and most recently Ukraine celebrate Christmas on December 25. All the other Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate it on 7 January. Armenia has both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, so both dates are observed. Many old order Amish celebrate a second Christmas, called Old Christmas, on January 7 as well.

So to my Eastern Orthodox friends, I will wish a blessed and joyful Christmas Day.


Titanic News Channel wishes everyone a blessed and joyous Christmas Day. Merry Christmas!


The Adoration of the Shepherds (Gerard van Honthorst 1590–1656)
Image: Public Domain (Wikipedia)

….And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!” (Dickens, A Christmas Carol)