Monday, April 16, 2012

Today -100: April 16, 1912: Of enemies of toil and order, and the Titanic, the wonder ship of brief career

Headline of the Day -100, some more objective coverage by the LA Times of the IWW plan to send members to San Diego to assert the IWW’s right to organize in the city without being beaten and kidnapped by vigilantes: “Hoboes in Marching Order. Enemies of Toil and Order Invade Fresno En Route to San Diego.”

The Titanic hit an iceberg and you know the rest. Fortunately, it was insured.

Among the non-millionaire dead (and at this point it’s not known who or how many survived; the Carpathia, the only ship that arrived in time to rescue survivors, hasn’t radioed a list of them yet) are:

-Taft’s military aid Archibald Willingham Butt, aka Major Butt (NYT: “Throughout Washington to-night every comment on the disaster is followed by the expression, ‘I hope Butt is safe.’”).

-W.T. Stead, editor of the Review of Reviews, one of the creators of modern journalism, who once (1885) set out to uncover the white slave trade and confirm that one could buy a virgin for £5 (he had a doctor confirm her virginity)(He also found out that you can go to jail for buying a little girl from her mother at least you can if you don’t also pay off the father).

-Painter Frank Millet, coming over because he’d been commissioned to paint four panels of the new Wisconsin State Capitol.

-Jacques Futrelle, an author who created a Sherlock-Holmes-type detective, Professor Augustus van Dusen, “The Thinking Machine.”

-The Titanic’s captain, Edward Smith, who went down with the ship.

An interesting point, which may or may not actually be true, about the insufficient number of lifeboats: it was impossible to carry enough lifeboats to hold all the passengers and crew and also have them in positions where they could be lowered into the water quickly.

On the other hand, without the invention of the Marconi wireless, there would have been no survivors.

Titanic Headlines of the Day -100: LA Times: “Wonder Ship of Brief Career in the Graveyard of the Sea.” For a story which opens rather crassly by totting up the fortunes of the richest men on the Titanic: John Jacob Astor IV, $150 million, Benjamin Guggenheim $95 million, etc. (For comparison, the Titanic itself was worth $7,500,000.)

Newburyport (Mass.) Morning Herald: “Band Played Till End!”


The Onion:

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