Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Day to Remember

Today marks the 100th anniversary of one of the great tragedies of the 20th century, the sinking of the Titanic. There have been numerous books, which I have quite a few, and several movies. The best one I think is 1958's A Night to Remember. Naturally somebody posted it on YouTube, but the movie isn't in one whole part. Here is Part One and the reader can click on the link to the page:

Here are a couple of articles to mark the occasion:

Researchers say that Titanic was an exception, as it was male chivalry in maritime disasteres is a big myth:

Economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixon of Uppsala University also showed in their 82-page study that captains and their crew are 18.7 percentage points more likely to survive a shipwreck than their passengers.

“Our findings show that behavior in life-and-death situation is best captured by the expression ‘every man for himself’,” the authors wrote.

The researchers analyzed 18 of the world’s most famous maritime disasters, ranging from the HMS Birkenhead that grounded in the Indian Ocean in 1852 to the MV Bulgaria tourist ship that sank on Russia’s Volga River last year.

Who was--and wasn't--onboard the doomed ship?

The dogs of the Titanic are remembered in this museum exhibit.

There were at least 12 dogs onboard, all in first class, and three of them survived:

"Lady," a Pomeranian that had recently been purchased in Paris by Margaret Bechstein Hays, according to Encyclopedia Titanica. The 24-year-old New Yorker was returning home on the Titanic from travels in Europe with friends. As she stepped into lifeboat 7 with Lady, another passenger reportedly passed by and joked, "Oh, I suppose we ought to put a life preserve on the little doggie, too."

Another Pomeranian, whose name isn't known, owned by New York clothing magnate Martin Rothschild and his wife, Elizabeth Jane Anne Rothschild. While Martin Rothschild didn't survive the shipwreck, his wife made it to lifeboat 6 with her dog, which she kept hidden. No one else on the lifeboat remembered seeing the dog until the next morning, and rescuers on the Carpathia initially refused to take it on board. But Rothschild insisted, and both made it back to New York.

"Sun Yat-Sen," a Pekingese owned by Henry S. Harper, heir to New York's Harper & Row publishing firm, and his wife, Myna Harper. The Harpers were returning from a tour of Europe and Asia, joined by an interpreter they had picked up in Egypt. All three, plus Sun Yat-Sen, entered lifeboat 3 on the Titanic's starboard side. When asked later about saving the dog, Henry Harper explained that "There seemed to be lots of room, and nobody made any objection."

Grave robbers still are selling artifacts when the site should have been left alone:

"I find it offensive," said Rob Gordon. "My great aunt's wedding dress is down there." Gordon lost two relatives on the Titanic. He feels the wreck should be left alone.

"It's a grave. There's a lot of people down there - their personal possessions," Gordon said. "I just think its wrong to sift through that stuff and put a price tag on it."


I wish this action would have been done as soon as Robert Ballard found the site.

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