jump to navigation

April 14, 1912 April 14, 2007

Posted by daveintexas in History.


 95 years ago today, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg en route from Southampton England, to New York (with stops in France and Ireland).  The official US casualty figure was 1,517, while the British investigation claimed 1,490 were lost.

Recently I had an opportunity to visit a traveling display of recovered artifacts from the Titanic.  Remarkable to see, articles of clothing, personal effects, hardware from the vessel and plates, glassware and silverware.  History.  If you have an opportunity to see this, take it.

She was called “unsinkable”, but the sea proved men wrong again, and took her down quickly.  The circumstances of the tragedy, as is common with tragedies like these, included several “twists of fate” that had they turned this way or that, could have minimized the dreadful loss of life.  We try to learn from our mistakes, and several changes in shipbuilding and maritime operation were enacted as a result of the lessons.  Among these, use of the new invention, “radio”.  After Titanic ships were required to man the radio stations at all times while at sea, with a secondary power supply so as not to miss distress signals.  International agreements were signed declaring “SOS” the globally accepted code for a distress signal (the Brits until that time preferred their own CQD code).  And red rockets fired into the sky were recognized from that date on as a signal for distress.

Titanic had several engineering features designed to prevent a sinking, including a double bottom, but she was a single-hulled craft.  Double-hulled construction became the new safety engineering feature.  Titanic’s rudder, not legally too small, but its design was 19th century and did not take into account the massive scale of the vessel.

And of course, more lifeboats.

I was surprised on a visit to New York some years ago, that the White Star Lines Pier 54 is still there, though delapidated and not in use.  You can still see the ironwork over the pier with the names Cunard and White Star, and the Pier 54 number on it.  More history.  This is where she would have disembarked her first and second class passengers, while the others would have been transferred to other ships destined for immigration control at Ellis Island.

Those of you who know me know April 14 is an easy date to remember.  April 14, 1986.

The date we bombed Libya in retaliation for the state sponsored murder of American soldiers in a west Berlin nightclub.

Time to finish the tax return now.  Have a nice weekend everybody.

UPDATE: www.findmypast.com is making image and transcripts of the Titanic passenger lists available at no charge for one week.   Registration is required.



1. kevlarchick - April 14, 2007

I saw that exhibit too Dave. It was fascinating.

2. Kenny - April 14, 2007

Don’t you know it was a conspiracy? Here’s the real truth:

3. daveintexas - April 15, 2007

I love the unfettered coinage boys.

kc, I wondered, and probably should not have, how they came across the clothing.

4. your daughter who thinks you owe her a better present after posting this on her birthday. - April 17, 2007

long huge article, blah, blah, blah, unimportant gibber, oh yeah I WAS BORN. you suck.

5. cranky - April 17, 2007

dave, you have a daughter?

6. daveintexas - April 17, 2007

cranky, you couldn’t tell?

see above.

daughter, see bluebonnet post.

7. kevlarchick - April 18, 2007

What did you BUY her, dad? C’mon!

8. Dave in Texas - April 18, 2007

I have been reliably informed it was a pretty new dress and some shoes to accessorize.

9. cranky - April 18, 2007

Dave, you’re a rich man. Happy birthday to your little girl.

10. daveintexas - April 18, 2007

it’s true cranky. thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: