April 28, 2012
It's a saga so incredible, you wish it was true.
In 1912, Murzakan Kuchiev, a young man from the North Ossetian village of Ardon, boards the "Titanic" in Southampton, England, in a quest to earn his fortune in America.
A bad dish of herring sends him reeling to the upper decks just as the doomed liner hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic. He plunges over the side into the bitterly cold water, where a terrified young woman clutches to him for survival.
Kuchiev's granddaughter, Indira Kadzova, recently told RFE/RL about what Kuchiev said happened next.
"He stayed in the water for a long time," she said. "And he said that a woman who had been clinging to his neck had already died from hypothermia. But he couldn't detach himself from her; her hands were frozen and locked around his neck."
Russian media ranging from "Argumenty i fakty" to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTyDh2IrHEo have reveled in Kuchiev's story, unabashedly comparing it to the heart-pounding drama of the 1997 blockbuster movie "Titanic."
There's just one problem: Kuchiev's story doesn't appear to be true.
Not A Trace Of Evidence
No documents related to the ship bear any evidence of Kuchiev or his colorful story, which ends with him being pulled nearly frozen from the water, a protracted hospital recovery, and a triumphant return home to Russia, compensation money in hand.
Debbie Beavis is an expert on British shipping records and the author of the book "Who Sailed on Titanic?" which is considered the go-to source for "Titanic" passenger lists.
She maintains that there is no trace of Kuchiev at any point in his purported journey -- even though most passengers and survivors were scrupulously documented at each stage of the ordeal.
"Perhaps he could have spent that long in the water and been able to get pulled into one of the lifeboats," she says. "From that moment, though, one has to wonder why he does not appear on any of the lists of lifeboat passengers, who were all recorded very faithfully.
"He evidently gets carted off, probably to St. Vincent's Hospital, where most of the injured passengers were taken. But the purser's list [from the "Carpathia"] doesn't show him; the printed list of New York arrivals doesn't show him."
According to Beavis, survivors of the "Titanic" are likely to appear on five or more different lists, beginning with outgoing passenger lists and moving on to survivor lists on individual lifeboats as well as the "Carpathia," the passenger ship that carried the survivors to New York.
From there, third-class survivors were registered by immigration authorities. Any passengers requiring a hospital stay would have been added to yet another list.
Receiving compensation from the "Titanic's" owner, the White Star Line, required still more paperwork.
Lastly, any return trip -- if it included a stop in England, as Kuchiev claimed his outgoing voyage had, would be recorded on U.K. arrivals lists.
None of these lists bear Kuchiev's name or even a close approximation. (In the days of handwritten travel documents, foreign names were often wildly misspelled. The closest match, according to Beavis, is an Ellis Island record for Kurolso Kozieff from Vladikavkaz, who traveled to the U.S. from the German port of Bremen in 1910.)
One hundred years after the sinking of the "Titanic," says Beavis, it is almost certain that Murzakan Kuchiev was not onboard the ship.
According to her, research on the famous ship has been so exhaustive, and lists like those on encyclopedia-titanica.org so complete, that there are few mysteries left:
"Anybody who was on 'Titanic' in whatever capacity, whether they were supposed to be there or not, has been identified wherever possible," she said. "And in terms of the people who have not been identified, we know their names, we just don't know who they were, if that makes sense.
"There's always going to be something that people are going to want to know about 'Titanic,' but I'm afraid as far as the passengers are concerned, it's just been done."
If Kuchiev's "Titanic" saga is untrue, it raises the question of where the young North Ossetian was traveling during his supposed time abroad.
That, however, is likely to remain a mystery.
Kuchiev -- who returned to Russia only to fall victim to Stalin-era repressions, is believed to have died in internal exile in 1940.
His family -- which includes his 86-year-old daughter, Anna -- says they have never received Kuchiev's Soviet-era dossier and that none of his official documents, including a passport, remain.
Beavis acknowledges some dismay at debunking "Titanic" myths, noting that as many as 7,000 people falsely claimed to have sailed on the "Titanic" in the years immediately after the sinking.
"It's very sad that people decide they have to spice up the stories of their own journeys by saying they're on the 'Titanic,'" she says.
"I think people want a bit of excitement. We all read these things about the 'Titanic' -- whether they're wonderful things or horrible things -- and we all wonder what it was like to actually experience it."
What are the odds on this happening?
What’s more exciting than James Cameron re-releasing “Titanic” in 3-D? When an even richer man –Australia’s Clive Palmer – tries to bring the ill-fated ship to life. By building a modern replica of it.
The mining billionaire said Monday that he has commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard, a Chinese state-owned business, to construct a new Titanic from scratch.
“Many people have attempted to do it before but have failed because they didn’t have the buy-in of a shipyard and didn’t have the money to pay for it,” he said.
The vessel will be made in its tragic predecessor’s image – “layouts … room décor and finish,” Palmer said – but will be fitted with newer technology.
The process will start by the end of next year, with the ship set to sail by 2016. The original RMS Titanic sank a century ago, in April 1912.
The luxury ship’s demise after striking an iceberg en route from Europe to New York left 1,500 people dead. Here’s hoping Palmer’s version evades a similar outcome as it charts a similar path from London to New York and back after being escorted by the Chinese navy over to Europe from Shanghai.
“We think it will be a great achievement,” Palmer said. “It will also be a great tribute to the people who designed the original Titanic.”
Last month, the magnate was named by the National Trust of Australia as one of the country’s National Living Treasures alongside performers Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue and others. He owns the mining company Mineralogy, which has long had major business dealings with Chinese companies.
Is Palmer’s effort in line with other ambitious pet projects from fellow billionaires? Microsoft tycoonBill Gates sank tens of billions of dollars into his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Virgin mogulRichard Branson is trying to send commercial flights into space and has also sought to create an island refuge for lemurs.
A spokesman for Palmer told Australian media that the cost of his Titanic venture has yet to be determined.
Titanic, Hindenburg, and the Heroic Age of Postal Service
MAY 4 2012, 6:45 PM ET
A card belonging to Captain Albert Sammt, who survived the Hindenburg disaster by jumping from the ship's gondola/National Postal Museum
This Sunday, May 6, marks the 75th anniversary of the disaster of the Hindenburg, among other things a pioneer of transatlantic airmail.
A political target today, postal services were at their zenith in the early 20th century, when they stood for integrity, duty, punctuality -- and of course, secure jobs. Mail volume dropped during the Depression, but mass layoffs were avoided through normal retirement and attrition. The Postmaster-General of the time,James A. Farley, proved not only a master politician but also one of the greatest patrons of muralists since the Italian Renaissance. The main New York post office, renamed for him, was completed in the year of the Titanic, 1912. The RMS in that vessel's full name ("RMS Titanic") stood proudly for Royal Mail Ship, and both shipping lines and airlines relied in part on mail revenue.
An exhibition at the National Postal Museum in Washington, across the street from Union Station, has a small but moving exhibit of objects related to the Titanic and the Hindenburg. Below, a few samples from that collection:
HINDENBURG’S FINAL MOMENTS, LAKEHURST, NEW JERSEY, MAY 6, 1937
Courtesy Bill Schneider Photograph Collection
The image captures the instants before the airship burst, suddenly, into flames.
One last curiosity: The Hindenburg also marked a high point of elegant smoking, to the extent of including an air-pressurized lounge where patrons could light up their Balkan Sobranies with flameless electric devices. Scary as the idea sounds, it had nothing to do with the catastrophe. I write about it here.
An exhibition dedicated to the sinking of the Titanic has opened in Hull.
The curator of the city's Maritime Museum, Robin Diaper, said the display would give people an opportunity to learn more about the event in history, without having to travel far.
A range of items are on display, from a fountain pen belonging to the captain to a range of silverware which would have been used on the ship.
The collection, titled Honour & Glory, will be on display until 26 August.
Mr Diaper said an interview with a junior officer on the doomed ship, Hull-born Joseph Boxhall, would be available.
It was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic last month.
HE SPENT seven years fulfilling James Cameron's dream - creating the submarine that took the Titanic film director to the deepest point of the ocean.
He is is hoping to use the specialised syntactic foam created especially for the submarine, named Deepsea Challenger, and his expertise for other business ventures.
"I would love someone to say we need another vehicle," Mr Allum said. "At the moment we are putting everything into storage. Because of everything we have learnt I'd like to research for others.
"No other submersibles have dived beyond 6000m. It opens up that territory - a lot of things are happening in these very deep trenches."
The March 2012 expedition to the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean - a joint project by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex - was a multi-million-dollar endeavour.
The foam alone, at $150 a litre, cost $1.32 million. It was developed to withstand the pressure of 16,250lb per square inch at the 11,000m depth.
Mr Allum, who began work on the project in 2005, said nearly all of it was pressure-tested, together with other equipment, in special cylinders.
Allum and Cameron developed the Deepsea Challenger sub, coming up with its vertical design, in sharp contrast to the usual "horizontal" submarine configuration.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — By the time you reach the end of “The Innocent,” David Baldacci’s latest standalone thriller, you might not know who the title character really is. It certainly isn’t Will Robie, the government’s paid assassin who becomes a target himself after he balks at his assignment to kill a middle-aged mother of two. Nor is it Julie Getty, a 14-year-old streetwise kid who returns from a stint in foster care only to witness her drug- addicted parents being murdered. Will and Julie make a compelling team as they try to figure out who wants each of them dead and why.
Iris Johansen brings back Catherine Ling and John Gallo in her latest blockbuster, “What Doesn’t Kill You.” As an orphan on the streets of Hong Kong, Catherine formed a special attachment to elderly herbalist Hu Chang. Now he is in danger from a number of ambitious factions who want his newly developed concoction -- a particularly deadly and non-detectible poison. While she works to help Chang, weapons dealer Hugh Nardik pressures her to get the formula for him and threatens to kidnap her son, Luke, who was only just recently located and returned after he was abducted as a baby.
For 41 years, Mimi Alford had locked away the facts surrounding her affair with President John Kennedy, which began when she was a 19-year-old intern at the White House and continued until his assassination in Dallas. Her story, “Once Upon a Secret” (973.922), is not so much an expose about their affair, but an honest exploration of the effect that clandestine relationship had on the rest of her life and how she has finally come to terms with it.
If you grew up during the ‘70s, chances are a song written by Carole King provided the background music to some of your major adolescent experiences. King still performs to packed venues today, her music and voice seasoned by a life full of challenges, joys, and heartache. She writes candidly of that life in her memoir, “A Natural Woman” (782.421).
Pender, Sawyer, Mouse, and Marie are four college buddies who haven’t been able to find work since their graduation. From this very modern premise, Owen Lankkanen has built an entertaining first novel, a top-notch thriller entitled “The Professionals.” One day as the four of them are commiserating on their jobless situation, they hatch a scheme to kidnap businessmen and demand a ransom so low the victims won’t even report the crime. Their plan works and they begin accumulating a tidy, tax-free sum -- until they unwittingly abduct someone who has connections to the Mafia.
Among the 2,223 passengers and crew on board the luxurious Titanic on her fateful maiden voyage to
New York were some of the world’s wealthiest people, as well as members of both England and America’s upper classes. They are the subjects of historian Hugh Brewster’s fascinating new book, “Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage” (910.452). Join him as he brings to life “the Titanic’s first-class passengers and their world.”
Monday May 7, 2012
No question concerning the loss of the Titanic in 1912 has endured more persistently than the one about the "mystery ship." A great number of people reported seeing the lights of a vessel from the decks of the Titanic and from her lifeboats. Estimates of distance vary from five to 12 miles, but witnesses were certain it was a ship, not a star close to the horizon line.
Officers on the sinking White Star liner instructed the crewmembers in charge of lifeboats to row towards the light. When first sighted, her green (starboard) light could be discerned, but as time passed, she swung around and both her red (port) and green lights could be seen from Titanic, indicating that, whoever she was, her bow was pointed directly towards the ship. There was some fleeting hope that she was coming to Titanic's aid.
Attempts were made to contact the ship in the distance by Morse lamp and by wireless. There was no response. Earlier in the evening, wireless operator Jack Phillips had been interrupted while he was sending passengers' personal messages by a warning from the small Leyland liner, Californian, about ice in the area. Phillips was jolted by the strength of the signal and peeved at the interruption.
"Shut up! Shut up! You are jamming me!" he fired back. "I am working Cape Race!" It might have proven to be the most consequential demonstration of rudeness in maritime history. Phillips had just cut off a warning that might have saved his ship
so that he could continue sending some society matron's assurance to a friend that she was "having a wonderful time."
On the Californian, wireless operator Cyril Evans was stung by the rebuke and, a few minutes before 11:30, turned his transmitter off, changed into pajamas, and climbed into his bunk with a book. Titanic was ten minutes away from the iceberg.
An hour and a half earlier, Californian's second office, Charles Victor Groves, had noticed what he thought might be a school of porpoises ahead of the ship. He brought the "white patches" to the attention of Captain Stanley Lord, a 14-year veteran of the Leyland Line. Gruff, aloof, and overbearing with his crew, Lord knew instinctively what the patches were - small bergs and growlers on the outer edges of an ice field. He immediately ordered the ship stopped. The 6,000-ton Californian would drift through the darkness and Lord would find his way through the ice at daybreak.
It was a beautiful, moonless night and the sea was as placid as a millpond. The only sound to break the silence was the faint refrain of "Annie Laurie" being sung by a crewmember belowdecks. Captain Lord had stretched out on a settee in the chartroom. He asked to be notified if anything changed.
At 11:15, Groves saw a glare on the horizon from a steamer coming up from the east. It passed about 10 to 12 miles off the now-stationary Californian's starboard side. Thus began a tragic comedy of errors and misjudgments that ended in the needless deaths of more than 1,500 people.
Groves thought the vessel was a very large passenger liner. She was ablaze with lights from bow to stern. He notified Captain Lord, who, from the lower vantage point of a porthole in the chartroom, didn't believe the ship was much larger than the Californian. (Titanic was 46,000 tons.)
At 11:40, the big ship suddenly stopped. It looked to Groves as if she had put out most of her lights, but it seemed further evidence to Captain Lord that the vessel wasn't a passenger liner, much less one the size of Titanic.
Groves wasn't dissuaded. "It is, sir. When she stopped, she put out most of her lights - I suppose they have been put out for the night."
What Groves had witnessed was Titanic's sharp maneuver to port to avoid striking the iceberg, turning the liner's brilliantly lit side away from the Californian.
Second Officer Herbert Stone was set to relieve Groves on the Californian's bridge at midnight. Stone stopped by the chartroom and spoke with Captain Lord, who apprised him that they were within sight of another vessel and repeated that he wanted to be notified if the ship came any closer to the Californian.
On his way back to his cabin, Groves stopped by the wireless room. It was clear that Evans, who was generally chatty and congenial, was not in a talkative mood. His long day had begun at 7 a.m. and ended with the rebuke from Phillips for his well-placed concern.
"What ships have you got, Sparky?" Groves asked.
"Only the Titanic," Evans replied.
Groves nodded. He had been right about the steamer that he had seen. It was a big passenger ship. The biggest in the world. Given Captain Lord's imperious temper, however, it probably wasn't a good idea to bring his mistake to his attention.
Groves was fascinated with the wireless and he was becoming quite proficient at Morse code. While Evans sulked in his bunk, Groves flicked the set on and put the headphones over his ears. Although he was developing the skill to read transmissions, Groves didn't know that, to activate the wireless on the Californian, it was necessary to wind up the clockwork-driven magnetic detector. He heard nothing, turned off the set once more, and left the cabin.
It was roughly 12:15 and Jack Phillips had just sent the first distress call from the Titanic.
Titanic: '100 Years of Titanic' from the Daily Mirror
Incredible pics of the doomed liner available as a glossy magazine or iPad app
The British liner Titanic sank on 15th April, 1912 - the most infamous tragedy at sea
A century after it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the Titanic remains the most famous ship in the world.
The second class deck on the Titanic
The Daily Mirror has marked the 100th anniversary of the disaster by releasing a glossy 84 page magazine that tells the whole dramatic but tragic story.
First class menu aboard the Titanic
Featuring rare and unseen images from the magnificent Mirror archive, plus Mirror pages and reports from the time, we recall how the ship believed to be unsinkable met with catastrophe on its maiden voyage.
The human stories of those who were saved and lost are highlighted, as well as the controversy over why it sank and who was to blame.
Lifeboats: The Titanic was equipped to carry 64 lifeboats, but she carried just 20 - there were just 28 aboard the first one, which could have held 65 people
We also assess how the Titanic has continued to hold a fascination on the public, particularly through the long search for the wreck and the blockbusting film epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
IF you cannot get enough stories of the Titanic, then you should check out the 12-part mini-series,Titanic: Blood and Steel, which premieres at 9pm on History (Astro Channel 555) this Sunday, and every Sunday after that.
This mini-series chronicles the birth of the ship – the planning and construction of the doomed luxury liner.
This is something on the Titanic that has never been explored before on screen.
Filmed mostly in the south border of Dublin, Titanic: Blood and Steel features an impressive cast such as Chris Noth, Sir Derek Jacobi, Alessandra Mastronardi, Kevin Zegers and Neve Campbell.
Using Belfast and the hardship its people went through between 1907 and 1912 as a setting, this new series depicts a saga of budgetary constraints and relentless demands placed on workers byTitanic owner J.P. Morgan.
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. Most shows available in the market often associate Titanic as the ‘ship of dreams’,” said Louis Boswell, general manager of AETN All Asia Networks.
“But Titanic: Blood and Steel looks beyond the traditional romance and zeroes on the design and construction of the liner from the perspective of the people who made the ship a reality.
“We are delighted to broadcast this fascinating series on History.”
Sony Internet TV is the presenting sponsor of Titanic: Blood and Steel in Malaysia.
“We are excited about our collaboration with History. Through this series, viewers will be given insights into cultural issues, including the class system, workers’ hardship and general levels of deprivation of the time,” said M. Matsumae, division head of brand activation management, Sony Malaysia.
“This partnership reiterates the level of importance that Sony places on setting high standards for picture-perfect quality on Sony Internet TV.”
1912 Titanic Inquiry Continues
LONDON — Public interest in the British Titanic inquiry has been stimulated in consequence largely of the allegations made by one of the witnesses on Thursday [May 9], and long before the Court resumed yesterday morning [May 10] an unusually large number of women had taken position in the women’s gallery and in seats behind counsel. The allegations were those of a leading fireman, Charles Hendrickson, who asserted that although his boat held only twelve persons, including seven of the crew, it did not put back to the rescue of the drowning because passengers who were with him objected. He alleged that among the latter were Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon, and the Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon gave each of the boat’s crew £5 after they were picked up by the Carpathia. Frank Herbert Morris, a baker on the Titanic, was the first witness on Friday. The witness was ordered into No. 14 lifeboat by Mr. Lowe, the fifth officer. Some men tried to get into that boat, but were kept back. They were foreign third-class passengers. The crew of the boat consisted, he thought, of two firemen, two sailors and two stewards, besides himself. He counted fifty-three women and children in the boat and two men passengers.
A new memorial to a musician who died in the Titanic disaster will be put up in the Black Country after people pledged more than £1,000.
John Woodward, who was 32, played the cello in the band that "played on" when the ship sank in April 1912.
His body was never found, but he is commemorated on the family gravestone at Heath Lane cemetery, West Bromwich.
The sandstone gravestone is crumbling away and a fundraising campaign for a new memorial was launched last week.
Since the story appeared on BBC Midlands Today his distant cousins, Mike Woodward and his 12-year-old son, John, have come forward.
"Until I saw it on television last week, I wasn't aware that there was a memorial to him in West Bromwich and it was a complete surprise to see that he'd been recognised so close to home," said Mr Woodward.
"The eight bandsmen who died on the Titanic are all heroes and it's a great honour to be related to a man who's gone down in history and who will hopefully always be remembered with pride and honour."
Most of John Woodward's family moved from the Black Country to Oxford, where he is commemorated on a brass plaque in All Saints Church, Headington.
The new marble memorial in West Bromwich will feature the engraving from the original gravestone.
Mr Woodward said: "It's a real honour that John is remembered in the way that he is and that people have come forward and donated money.
"It's a real pleasure to know that people haven't forgotten him, I can only say thank you from a small band of the Woodward family that's left."
One of the people who donated money for the memorial is former salvage engineer, John Pierce.
He led a salvage operation of the RMS Lusitania in 1982 - a liner which sank after being hit by torpedo fire in 1915.
Mr Pierce said: "The eight musicians all played until the Titanic went down and out of all the stories I've heard about the 100 years anniversary [of the sinking] this was a very human story."
The purpose of the inquiry into the Titanic disaster now being conducted by a committee of the United States Senate is to get at all the facts bearing upon the catastrophe. Frederick Fleet, a lookout on the Titanic, testified that no spyglasses were furnished the lookouts. He sent the customary three bells warning to the bridge and also telephoned that ice was just ahead just before the vessel crashed. As soon as he had telephoned, an acknowledgment was sent back from the bridge, but it was not until the Titanic had collided with the iceberg that any change was made in the vessel’s direction.
MEMBERS of the Staffordshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale have announced their latest pub of the month.
Titanic Brewery pub The Bull's Head, in Burslem, has clinched the title for May after impressing members with its range of Titanic and guest beers.
Group member Bob Round said: "As it is a Titanic pub you can expect a range of Titanic beers together with a wide range of guest ales.
"From time to time there are themed mini-festivals where guest beers follow a theme for a week or so, often in support of a charity.
"Alongside the British beers, there is an impressive range of draught and bottled beers, fruit beers and lagers from Europe with an emphasis on Belgian beers."
A presentation has already taken place.
In 1912, the first movie inspired by the Titanic disaster was released just a month after the British liner sank. "Saved From the Titanic," a one-reel drama produced by the Eclair American Film Co. of Fort Lee, N.J., starred Dorothy Gibson, an actress who had been an actual passenger on the doomed ship; she wore for the movie the same outfit she was wearing when rescued. ("Saved From the Titanic" is considered lost, the only known copies having been destroyed in a fire in 1914.)
The scale model of the RMS Titanic
A SCALE model replica of one of the most famous ships in history is docked in Thornaby awaiting departure later this week.
The 4ft 6ins-long model of the doomed RMS Titanic is expected to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000 when it goes on sale at toy auctioneers Vectis on Wednesday.
Manufactured by Bassett- Lowke of Northampton, model makers since 1899, the replica is described as “an accurately detailed model finished to a high professional standard and in mint original condition”.
The lot is sold with a fax of a letter from Bassett-Lowke dated March 12, 1992, stating that the model is the third of only three made. The Titanic is mounted on four plated metal stands, in its original Perspex wooden case.
The sale comes a month after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.
The model is part of a Dolls, Teddy Bears and Tinplate sale which is also offering an array of vintage bears, with more than 80 lots covering a number of manufacturers and characters from The Black and White Minstrel Show and Phantom of The Opera to Paddington and Rupert Bear.
Included in the dolls section is a Chad Valley “Bambina” a felt and velvet Doll, circa 1927 in excellent to near mint condition and valued at £140-£160.
Also for sale is a 1930s Chad Valley Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs felt and cloth dolls set, also estimated at £140-£160.
“There are many charming items in this sale, many in mint or near mint condition and complete with original boxes,” said a Vectis spokesperson.
Viewing for the auction is from 8am to 10.30am on Wednesday and the sale starts at 10.30am.
Tomorrow Vectis is offering a TV Generation sale, featuring an Avengers TV Series Collection. The sale, from 10.30am includes items from the series starring Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee.
For more information visit http://www.vectis.co.uk
A discussion and book signing with historian John Maxtone-Graham, author of “Titanic Tragedy: A New Look at the Lost Liner” will be held at Astor Courts, the historic residence of one of the most famous Titanic passengers, John Jacob Astor, who was traveling back from England on the vessel with his young bride, Madeleine.
The discussion, hosted by Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, will be at 7 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $30 and include a copy of the book. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Upstate Films Digital Projection Fund.
Maxtone-Graham has spent his life studying and lecturing about ships and is considered a unique expert on all things related to transoceanic travel. “Titanic Tragedy” is his second book on the subject and was published in March.
Oblong Books owner Suzanna Hermans said Maxtone-Graham “was happy to come up from New York City and the Astor/Titanic connection will be part of the discussion. The first half-hour of the event is a reception, and attendees will be able to walk around and see parts of the home. Then there will be a book signing and discussion about the book.”
Hermans said Kathy Hammer, the current owner of Astor Courts, reached out to him about the possibility of doing a Titanic-related event at her home.
“John Jacob Astor died on the Titanic, and with the 100th anniversary this year and the many new books on the subject, it seemed to be a perfect fit,” he said.
Maxtone-Graham has spent his career living on and lecturing about ocean-going ships. Hermans said he includes many details about the Titanic lifestyle and logistics in his writing, as well as the story of survivor Violet Jessop, a ship stewardess who had never been interviewed before.
According to the book, a ship’s officer handed Jessop an anonymous baby when she was sitting in a lifeboat, and she tells how she held onto the child throughout the ordeal.
The author also elaborates on the poignant tale of the musicians who played to the very end and did not survive.
Hammer expects to sell more than 120 tickets for the Astor Courts event and.
Walter Lord, the author of "A Night to Remember," once said that if he could have been anywhere on the night of April 14-15, 1912, it would have been about 10 miles away from the sinking Titanic, on the bridge of the Californian, in an effort to "understand what those men were thinking" as they watched the liner vanish - and wondered exactly what it was that they were seeing.
A number of maritime regulations were changed after the disaster. One of the most significant was the requirement that the radios be manned 24 hours a day. Both operators, on Titanic and Californian, knew that they were in close proximity to each other. On the sinking White Star liner, operator Jack Phillips silently cursed the other ship for not responding to his increasingly desperate calls for help. Cyril Evans, his counterpart on the Californian, had retired for the night and turned his wireless off.
One of the many problems that Jack Phillips encountered during that momentous night was convincing ships that did hear the distress calls (CQD and, later, SOS) that the accident was serious. (Convincing Titanic's passengers was no less difficult.) This was, after all, the "unsinkable" Titanic.
Among the ships in the Atlantic that heard the calls was Titanic's almost identical sister ship, Olympic, about 500 miles to the southwest. Olympic's response was, "Are you steaming south to meet us?" A frustrated and furious Phillips shot back, "We are putting women and children off in the boats!"
(Jack Phillips and his assistant, Harold Bride, would remain in the wireless room long after Captain Edward Smith relieved them from their duties. They would both manage to swim to an overturned collapsible lifeboat where, around 4:00, Phillips died of exposure. Bride survived, but suffered severely frostbitten feet.) It began to occur to a number of crewmen aboard the Californian that the lights of the steamer they could see in the distance were beginning to assume an odd angle with the sea. They were hesitant to risk the captain's sharp tongue by pushing the issue. Captain Lord was still dozing on a settee in the chart room. At 12:40, he called up to the bridge to ask if the other ship had moved any closer to Californian. He went back to his dozing after told that it had not.
Less than 10 minutes later, Second Officer Herbert Stone was startled to see a flash of white light burst above the ship in the distance. As he stood watching over the course of the next few minutes, four more exploded above the vessel, sending showers of smaller lights drifting down towards the water.
White skyrockets are an internationally recognized distress signal and Stone was concerned enough to risk disturbing Captain Lord. The captain asked if they were company signals of some kind. Stone said he didn't know. Lord told him to keep trying to establish contact with the Morse lamp and, once again, to let him know if anything changed.
Stone was joined on the bridge by an apprentice officer by the name of James Gibson. The second officer remarked how strange it seemed that a ship would send off rockets in the middle of the night. Gibson, whose binoculars were more powerful than Stone's, thought she seemed to be listing, with "her big side out of the water." Neither man could see her red running light any longer (affixed to the shelter on the bridge wing, it was submerged by now.) Three more rockets burst above the vessel, the last at 1:40, prompting Officer Stone's most intelligent comment of the night, "A ship is not going to fire rockets at sea for nothing."
Gibson agreed. "There must be something wrong with her."
The timing for this rather belated revelation could not have been worse. As the two men watched, the big ship seemed to steam away. Gibson relayed the information to Captain Lord in the chart room. Lord groggily asked what time it was and went back to sleep. Stone thought he could still faintly make out lights at 2:20 and then the strange ship was completely gone.
Herbert Stone's watch ended at 4:00. A half hour before, he had noted three more starbursts coming from the south, but further away than the others had been. When Chief Officer George Stewart reported to the bridge to begin his watch, Stone told him about the odd events of the night. Stewart had an uneasy feeling that something had happened. Through his glasses, he could make out a four-masted steamer to the south with one funnel and "a lot of light amid-ships." He decided not to notify Captain Lord until he woke.
As dawn broke, Stewart's foreboding got the best of him and he roused Cyril Evens in the Californian's wireless room and asked him to see if he could find out why a vessel would be sending off rockets in the area. Evans turned on his set and was greeted with the news that a ship had sunk during the night. The news got worse. The ship had been the Titanic.
Captain Lord immediately proceeded to the scene of the catastrophe. The rescue ship, Carpathia, was preparing to return to New York with 705 survivors, but there was little left of the grandest ocean liner in the world. Pieces of cork bobbed on the surface of the sea, along with deck chairs, cushions, the abandoned lifeboats, and a red and white striped barber pole. Lord said he saw no bodies. If he didn't, he hadn't looked very hard.
He later would see to it that any mention of eight white rockets was excised from the ship's log.
Lord couldn't delete what members of his crew had witnessed that night. Among them was an assistant engineer named Ernest Gill, who informed a reporter for a Boston newspaper when the Californian docked on April 19 of the troubling incident and set off a firestorm of controversy that has not abated to this day. Stanley Lord has had some fervent defenders in the last century, but none of them could ever get beyond the eight damning rockets and the silent wireless.
Bee Gees legend Robin Gibb died May 20 at the age of 62, and he’ll be forever remembered for the disco hits he performed with that group. But his final major creation was markedly different. To commemorate the centennial of the tragic sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, Gibb and his son R.J. Gibb composed an album of classical music: The Titanic Requiem. The piece was their first classical work together and was performed last month by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra along with the RSVP Voices choir. As is appropriate for an album commemorating a tragedy, the music is hauntingly beautiful, but no song more affecting or poignant than ‘Don’t Cry Alone’, which featured Robin Gibb as lead vocalist.
On April 10th, the Titanic Requiem premiered at the Westminster Central Hall in London. Co-composer R. J. Gibb introduced the performance, but his father Robin was too sick to attend. To honor Robin in his absence, a recording of the song Don’t Cry Alone was played with lights dimmed and a silent orchestra as the audience listened to the heart-felt lyrics: “I’ll be there for you forever. Don’t you ever cry.” As the song finished the audience rose to give a standing ovation.
One of the tracks on the forthcoming Bob Dylan album is a 14-minute epic about the Titanic.
Bob Dylan magazine Isis has confirmed that Dylan has recorded the song for the yet-to-be titled album due in September.
Isis reports the album will contain 10 tracks and is 68 minutes long and that there is another track 9 minutes in length on the album.
Bob Dylan spent two months recording the album at Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters studio on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. The album will be Bob’s first since the Christmas album ‘Christmas In The Heart’
Staff at Sony in New York and London have already heard the album.
The album will be the 35th studio album for Bob Dylan.
Influenced by founder Lord Baden-Powell, scouting was coloured by ideas of chivalry, a love of nature born of folk craft and a frontier evocation of Empire and British nationalism. This lecture by social historian Dr Sam Pryke will explore the rise of the early scout movement and specifically how the Titanic was covered in the two Scout publications of the day: ‘The Scout' and ‘Headquarters Gazette'. This talk is part of the Spring 2012 Public Lecture Series organised by Continuing Education (History) at the University of Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum.
On May 28, 1912, the Senate Commerce Committee issued its report on the sinking of the Titanic. Sen. William Alden Smith, R-Mich., chairman of the special subcommittee that looked into the disaster, cited a “state of absolute unpreparedness,” improperly tested safety equipment and an “indifference to danger” on the part of the ship’s captain, Edward Smith, as being among the causes of an “unnecessary tragedy.”
The Titanic has been granted official protection from unscientific exploration by UNESCO.
According to the UN’s cultural agency, over 700 divers have visited the wreck but after passing the centenary of her sinking on 15 April, the ship fell under the 2001 Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. For more information on the archaeology of the Titanic, see Current Archaeology 265.
A Titanic hero from Chorley will be remembered this Jubilee weekend when his war boat sails down the Thames in one of the largest ever-assembled flotillas.
Charles Lightoller, second mate on board Titanic and the highest-ranking survivor, sailed his motor Yacht, Sundowner, in the Dunkirk evacuation in World War II.
The vessel survived bombs, , and countless attacks, to come out completely undamaged and will be sailed as part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday June 3.
Jim Harris, one of the people working on Sundowner, said: “It is a tribute to Lightoller, he was a real old sea dog. He was a true hero.”
Lightoller was originally from Chorley where his family owned a cotton mill.
Patrick Stenson, historian and author of Titanic Voyageur, said: “Sundowner has had a lot of problems over the years. It even had a murder on it.”
The boat shares its anniversary with the sinking of the Titanic, making it 100 years old this year.
Sunday will see 42 of the original ‘little ships’ take part in the flotilla along with over 1000 other boats including armed forces, fire police, rescue and other services.
Sundowner was built and commissioned for the Royal Navy in Chatham near to where Lightoller finally took her over.
The War hero bought Sundowner after it had been re-fitted and put on auction in 1929.
The boat was converted in to a motor Yacht and Lightoller used it travel throughout the world with his wife and five children until War broke out.
Mr Stenson said: “He went all around, just for the joy of visiting new places.
“There was something about the sea that got a grip on him.”
Lightoller once again became a hero at sea when he sailed Sundowner in to the Dunkirk evacuation as part of the 700 ‘little ships’ involved.
They helped to rescue over 338,000 British and French soldiers trapped on the beaches in 1940.
The little ships sailed from Ramsgate Harbour, where Sundowner has remained to this day.
Lightoller was sent to spy on the German coastline in preparation and he managed to bring back an impressive 130 officers on the 58ft yacht.
Mr Harris said: “We are doing a good job, it looks good. The engine looks great, and of course it is in a historical part of the harbour.” Mr Stenson added that the Sundowner is ‘absolutely fantastic and all set to go on Sunday.’
Garden for last Titanic survivor Millvina Dean opens
Millvina Dean's father died when the Titanic sankContinue reading the main story
A garden in memory of the last survivor of the Titanic disaster has opened in Southampton.
Millvina Dean was nine weeks old when the ship sank after hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic on 15 April 1912.
She died on 31 May 2009 - the 98th anniversary of the Titanic's launch - aged 97, at a care home in Netley Marsh, in the New Forest, Hampshire.
The Millvina Dean Memorial Garden was unveiled in a ceremony next to the SeaCity Museum.
The short ceremony was attended by members of Miss Dean's family, the mayor of Southampton, Derek Burke, and the vicar of St Mary's, the Reverend Julian Davies, who blessed the garden.
The memorial garden has been created by the Millvina Fund and Southampton City Council.
Miss Dean's mother, Georgetta, and two-year-old brother, Bert, also survived, but her father, Bertram, was among those who died when the vessel sank.
She spent many years attending Titanic Society meetings and other functions in the UK and overseas and was the honorary president of the British Titanic Society.
After her death, her ashes were scattered on the waters of Berth 44 in Southampton, the starting point of Titanic's voyage in 1912.