100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Archive for the category “Titanic”

New Hotel Opens In Canada

The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway of Canada was formed in 1903 to build a second trans-Canadian railway that terminated on the Pacific with a terminus closer to Asia than Vancouver. The first shovel of earth for the construction of the GTPR took place at an official ceremony in September 1905 in Ontario by then Prime Minister Laurier. Construction has already passed the Continental Divide and the western stretch will be completed in a few years. In 1910, the Grand Trunk Pacific dock was built in Seattle, Washington and is the largest dock on the west coast.

The GTPR decided to build opulent hotels along the new railway line to to encourage tourists to travel its transcontinental routes. Their first in downtown Ottawa was to be their flagship hotel. Built in Gothic fashion of Indiana limestone in the Château style, “including its massive scale, irregular silhouette, steeply-pitched copper roofs, ornate gables and dormers.” It featured “towers and turrets, high-quality materials, and dramatic setting.” General Manager of GTPR, Charles Hays, travelled to Europe to gather opulent furniture worthy of the spectacular hotel. He wanted to travel back to Canada in the fastest, safest ship he could. Unfortunately he chose the RMS TITANIC. Neither Hays or the furniture ever reached Canada.

On June 1, 1912 the Chateau Laurier Hotel opened in Ottawa to great acclaim as a magnificent hotel. GTPR plans other hotels along its route based on the Chateau style.


Chateau Lautier Hotel on opening day – June 1, 1912

Captain And Crew of the RMS CARPATHIA Receive Awards

Margaret Tobin “Molly” Brown was a passenger on the RMS TITANIC.

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Brown was in bed reading a book when RMS TITANIC struck the iceberg. Where others hardly felt the impact, Brown claims the impact threw her to the floor. She put on 6 pairs of wool stockings, a wool suit, fur coat, hat and muff. She put $500 cash in one pocket and a good luck amulet she had purchased recently on her Egyptian tour in her other pocket. After helping other women into a lifeboat, Brown herself entered lifeboat No. 6. Brown took charge and grabbed the oars ordering the women to row away from the doomed liner. She was appalled when the officer in charge refused to turn the lifeboat back to pick up more survivors. Brown shared her extra pairs of stockings. Once on board the RMS CARPATHIA she helped organize relief efforts. On board, she organized and established the Titanic’s Survivors Committee for the people that needed help and for the poor steerage passengers who lost everything raising almost $10,000 dollars from wealthy survivors. Her knowledge of foreign languages enabled her to aid the frightened immigrants who had lost everything, including their husbands. Margaret visited Nova Scotia to place wreaths on the victims graves and continued to serve the Titanic’s Survivors Committee.

The Cunard Lines RMS CARPATHIA was the only ship to pick up survivors of the RMS TITANIC.

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Captain Arthur Henry Rostron was the brave and gallant captain of the RMS CARPATHIA. His efforts saved many lives and made the survivors of the RMS TITANIC as comfortable as possible.

On May 29, 1912, The RMS CARPATHIA returned to New York from Naples, her first journey since the dramatic rescue. Once the passengers had left the ship with their baggage Captain Rostron issued orders for all hands to muster in the first-class dining saloon. 250 members of the old crew lined up in the saloon in two long lines as chair of the Survivor’s Committee Margaret Brown presented a silver loving cup to Captain Rostron of the Carpathia and a gold, silver and bronze medals to each Carpathia crew member. Officers, cooks and soot-covered boiler men mingled as medals were handed out and the cup presented to Captain Rostron which read:

Presented to Capt. A. H. Rostron, R. N. R., commander of the R. M. S. Carpathia.

In grateful recognition and appreciation of his heroism and efficient service in the rescue of the survivors of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, and of the generous and sympathetic treatment he accorded us on his ship.

FROM SURVIVORS OF THE TITANIC

The medals bore in bas relief a copy of the Carpathia at full speed going to the rescue of the Titanic’s victims, while the reverse side bore the following inscription:

Presented to the Captain and crew of the R. M. S. Carpathia in recognition of their gallant and heroic services, from the survivors of the S. S. Titanic, April 15, 1912.

Bronze medal presented to RMS CARPATHIA’s crew on May 29, 1912 : http://images.encyclopedia-titanica.org/files/admin/images/carpathia-crew-medal-bonhams2.jpg

A framed set of resolutions from the women survivors that were proposed in the saloon on the night of April 17, before they reached New York thanking to the entire crew of the Carpathia, was placed beside the loving cup. Captain Rostron seemed overcome by the applause and recognition. He mustered enough composure to reply :

“I do not know how to express my thanks for this tribute, for the honor you have accorded me, for the many compliments you have paid me, and for the kind things you have said in presenting me with this cup of good fellowship. All I can say is that, first, I tried to do my duty as a sailor; second, I tried to do it toward suffering humanity.

“But I will not take the credit for the achievement of that night when we went to the aid of the people of the Titanic. I do not deserve this credit. My crew does deserve it, and to them I want to give my heartfelt thanks for their loyalty, valor, and fidelity to the trust that was imposed. I cannot think of them too highly for they have brought this honor to me and to themselves, and I feel humbly proud of what has been done for me through their valor.”

Margaret “Molly” Brown as chair of the Titanic Survivors Committee presents a silver loving cup to RMS CARPATHIA’s Captain Arthur Rostron in New York City – May 29, 1912

Photo: MAY 29, 1912

Captain And Crew of the RMS CARPATHIA Receive Awards

Margaret Tobin "Molly" Brown was a passenger on the RMS TITANIC.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=351753624861056&set=a.189903124379441.35396.189896404380113&type=3&theater

Brown was in bed reading a book when RMS TITANIC struck the iceberg. Where others hardly felt the impact, Brown claims the impact threw her to the floor. She put on 6 pairs of wool stockings, a wool suit, fur coat, hat and muff. She put $500 cash in one pocket and a good luck amulet she had purchased recently on her Egyptian tour in her other pocket. After helping other women into a lifeboat, Brown herself entered lifeboat No. 6. Brown took charge and grabbed the oars ordering the women to row away from the doomed liner. She was appalled when the officer in charge refused to turn the lifeboat back to pick up more survivors. Brown shared her extra pairs of stockings. Once on board the RMS CARPATHIA she helped organize relief efforts. On board, she organized and established the Titanic's Survivors Committee for the people that needed help and for the poor steerage passengers who lost everything raising almost $10,000 dollars from wealthy survivors. Her knowledge of foreign languages enabled her to aid the frightened immigrants who had lost everything, including their husbands. Margaret visited Nova Scotia to place wreaths on the victims graves and continued to serve the Titanic's Survivors Committee.

The Cunard Lines RMS CARPATHIA was the only ship to pick up survivors of the RMS TITANIC.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=363197543716664&set=a.189903124379441.35396.189896404380113&type=3&theater

Captain Arthur Henry Rostron was the brave and gallant captain of the RMS CARPATHIA. His efforts saved many lives and made the survivors of the RMS TITANIC as comfortable as possible.

On May 29, 1912, The RMS CARPATHIA returned to New York from Naples, her first journey since the dramatic rescue. Once the passengers had left the ship with their baggage Captain Rostron issued orders for all hands to muster in the first-class dining saloon. 250 members of the old crew lined up in the saloon in two long lines as chair of the Survivor's Committee Margaret Brown presented a silver loving cup to Captain Rostron of the Carpathia and a gold, silver and bronze medals to each Carpathia crew member. Officers, cooks and soot-covered boiler men mingled as medals were handed out and the cup presented to Captain Rostron which read:

Presented to Capt. A. H. Rostron, R. N. R., commander of the R. M. S. Carpathia.

In grateful recognition and appreciation of his heroism and efficient service in the rescue of the survivors of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, and of the generous and sympathetic treatment he accorded us on his ship.

FROM SURVIVORS OF THE TITANIC

The medals bore in bas relief a copy of the Carpathia at full speed going to the rescue of the Titanic's victims, while the reverse side bore the following inscription:

Presented to the Captain and crew of the R. M. S. Carpathia in recognition of their gallant and heroic services, from the survivors of the S. S. Titanic, April 15, 1912.

Bronze medal presented to RMS CARPATHIA's crew on May 29, 1912 : http://images.encyclopedia-titanica.org/files/admin/images/carpathia-crew-medal-bonhams2.jpg

A framed set of resolutions from the women survivors that were proposed in the saloon on the night of April 17, before they reached New York thanking to the entire crew of the Carpathia, was placed beside the loving cup. Captain Rostron seemed overcome by the applause and recognition. He mustered enough composure to reply : 

“I do not know how to express my thanks for this tribute, for the honor you have accorded me, for the many compliments you have paid me, and for the kind things you have said in presenting me with this cup of good fellowship. All I can say is that, first, I tried to do my duty as a sailor; second, I tried to do it toward suffering humanity.

“But I will not take the credit for the achievement of that night when we went to the aid of the people of the Titanic. I do not deserve this credit. My crew does deserve it, and to them I want to give my heartfelt thanks for their loyalty, valor, and fidelity to the trust that was imposed. I cannot think of them too highly for they have brought this honor to me and to themselves, and I feel humbly proud of what has been done for me through their valor."

Margaret "Molly" Brown as chair of the Titanic Survivors Committee presents a silver loving cup to RMS CARPATHIA's Captain Arthur Rostron in New York City - May 29, 1912

US Senate Sub-Committee Investigating RMS TITANIC Disaster Concludes

Even before the survivors of the RMS TITANIC reached shore, the US Senate called for a sub-committee to investigate the sinking after it seemed the White Star Line wanted to get it’s surviving employees back to England as soon as possible.

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The investigation was moved to a hotel in New York City and began in earnest.

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The hearings were moved to Washington DC. Over the past 4 weeks a total of 86 witnesses testified about ice warnings that were ignored, the inadequate number of lifeboats, the ship’s speed, the failure of nearby ships to respond to the Titanic’s distress calls, and the treatment of passengers of different classes. Over a thousand pages of testimony have been taken.

On May 28, 1912 Senator Smith presented the findings of the sub-committee to the Senate with recommendations that medals be awarded to the Captain and crew of the RMS CARPATHIA for their bravery, condemned the Captain of the CALIFORNIAN who could have saved everyone on the RMS TITANIC and proposed bills that would improve safety practices on ships and in ship construction.

Senator Smith’s speech to the US Senate – May 28, 1912 :http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/USReport/AmInqRepSmith02.php

The United States Senate Inquiry Report – May 28, 1912 :http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/USReport/AmInqRep01.php

Senator William Alden Smith of Michigan

RMS TITANIC Film Released Starring Real Survivor

Dorthy Gibson is a stage actress and singer who since 1906 has appeared in a number of theatre and vaudeville productions on Broadway. She is the favorite model for famous commercial artist Harrison Fisher who has chosen her likeness for the covers of best-selling magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, and the Saturday Evening Post. Gibson entered movies in early 1911, joining the Independent Moving Pictures Company. She went to Paris, France for the US-based Éclair Studios in July 1911. She was an instant success and one of the first actresses to be called a star after film credits started in 1911.

Cover girl Dorthy Gibson

Gibson was returning from Europe and booked passage on the RMS TITANIC. She had been playing bridge with friends in the lounge on the night of the ship’s fatal collision with the iceberg. She escaped in Lifeboat #7, the first lifeboat launched. After arriving in New York on the RMS CARPATHIA, Gibson’s manager who had specially chartered tugboats and an extra relay of cameramen” to film the arrival of RMS CARPATHIA persuaded her to make a film based on the sinking.  exactly one month after the RMS TITANIC struck the fatal iceberg, the film SAVED FROM THE TITANIC premiered in the US and in the United Kingdom as A SURVIVOR OF THE TITANIC and in Germany as WAS DIE TITANIC SIE LEHRTE (“What the Titanic Taught Her”.) It not only starred Gibson recreating the disaster but she also wrote the scenario and even appeared in the very same clothing she had worn aboard the liner that night—a white silk evening dress topped with a cardigan and polo coat. The film used footage of scenes such as RMS TITANIC’s Captain Edward Smith on the bridge of the RMS OLYMPIC, RMS TITANIC’s sister ship, images of the launch of RMS TITANIC in 1911 and stock footage of icebergs. The movie was one reel, about 10 minutes in length and shot in only a week. The fictionalized plot revolved around Gibson’s surviving the disaster and how it affected her made up family and fiancee. It is reported that the filming took its toll on Gibson who was emotionally drained by reliving the experience.

Dorthy Gibson in a scene from SAVED FROM THE TITANIC – 1912

Movie poster for SAVED FROM THE TITANIC
May 14, 1912

 

RMS TITANIC Recovery Ship Returns To Canada

10 days ago the cable ship Minia joined the Mackay-Bennett in a search for bodies of victims from the RMS TITANIC. The Mackay Bennett returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on April 30th.

https://100yearsagotoday.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/rms-titanic-survivors-and-victims-body-recovery/

The Minia arrived at the wreck site April 26th. The weather was almost continuously bad and the work of recovery difficult. Once the bodies hit the Gulf Stream, its warmer waters will cause decomposition to rapidly take place.

On May 6, 1912 the Minia sailed back into Halifax with 17 more bodies. The bodies were found miles apart and all had life jackets on. There was no one place to search and the Minia covered a wide area. “Wreckage was a poor guide to the ship – where there was wreckage there were no bodies and vice versa.” None of the bodies had water in the lungs showing death to have been due to exposure. The bodies have been taken to the makeshift morgue where the recovered victims from the Mackay-Bennettt were brought.

The body of a RMS TITANIC victim aboard the Minia is being readied for a makeshift coffin. The body is in the process of being embalmed. Equipment is near the body – bottles and tubes held by the embalmer.

RMS TITANIC Survivors And Victims – Body Recovery

On April 17 as RMS CARPATHIA headed for New York with survivors of the RMS TITANIC, White Star Line made arrangements with the idle cable ship MacKay-Bennett in port at Halifax, Nova Scotia to sail to the icy waters off the Grand Banks and recover the bodies of the RMS TITANIC victims. Aboard were a clergyman, a local undertaker,embalming fluid for 70 bodies, crushed ice and 125 pine coffins.

On April 21, 1912 at daybreak exactly one week after the sinking, boats were lowered from the Mackay-Bennett into the water and the first of 51 bodies was recovered. It was noted that “…bodies in good state but badly bruised by being knocked about in the water.” When it was realized the amount of bodies was going to be great, the ship’s captain made the decision to bury bodies at sea. Passengers who were no longer recognizable or identifiable were given a service before burial. 1st or 2nd Class passengers were distinguished from 3rd Class passengers by their clothing or identification. 1st Class passengers were given priority in the embalming process and placed in the wooden coffins. 2nd and 3rd Class passengers were wrapped in canvas. A message was sent by the Mackay-Bennett and a second ship, the Minia, has been sent with more embalming and burial supplies. The crew of the Mackay-Bennett will earn double-time for their work at the wreckage site.

Bodies wrapped in canvas lay on the deck of the Mackay-Bennettt
April 1912

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