Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. The sinking of the Titanic is one of the greatest tragedies in history. Although it has been a century since the infamous luxury liner sank in the Atlantic Ocean do we really know what happened on that fourth night at sea in 1912?
To honor the memory of those lives lost, and of a lifestyle long gone but not forgotten, let us reflect on some fascinating aspects about the tragic history of the Titanic. The 'Ship of Dreams' sank somewhere in the North Atlantic, south of Newfoundland, Canada after hitting an iceberg. Some theories suggest that if the ship's crew not attempted to turn the ship in the opposite direction of the iceberg and took the blow head on, the collision would not have resulted in a catastrophic disaster.
There were 2,228 people on board, which included 885 crew members plus Captain Edward Smith. When the ship sank that early spring morning, the lives of both famous and the unknown were lost forever. There was such an eclectic mix of passengers on board the ill fated liner. Of the 2,228 passengers, only 705 survived. Why were there not enough lifeboats? The first lifeboat to launch, Lifeboat 7 only carried 24 people, despite having a capacity of 65. Lifeboat 1 carried the fewest people with only 7 crew members and 5 passengers and it had a capacity for 40. Did you know there were 9 dogs on board the Titanic and two (a Pomeranian and a Pekinese) were rescued?
A postcard sent from Queenstown by Escott Robert Phillips to his friend Bill Squires. Phillips was lost when the ship sank, but his 21 year old daughter Alice escaped in Lifeboat 12.
This telegram shows the desperate correspondence between Titanic and Olympic.
I wonder what tea would have been like aboard the Titanic during the Edwardian era. Imagine stepping onto this luxurious ship and being seated in the tea salon enjoying fine English tea, savory miniature sandwiches, and assorted fancy pastries.
For this special occasion I have brought out my Royal Albert / Paragon Victoriana Rose teacup. This pretty cup is decorated on both sides with pastel pink roses, green leaves and wispy gray foliage with splendid gold trim.
It has a lovely back stamp from 1966. I'm sure teacups from 1912 were just as beautiful.
Today I will enjoy a wonderful cup of white rose tea and the heavenly scent of a soft pink rose.
In the book How to Survive the Titanic: The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay, Frances Wilson has done excellent research about the antecedents and the Edwardian milieu of the White Star Line that built and operated the Titanic. The author spins a new epic: when the ship hit the iceberg, and one thousand men, lighting their last cigarettes, prepared to die, J. Bruce Ismay, the ship's owner and inheritor jumped into a lifeboat filled with women and children and rowed away to safety. Her story of the three parts of Bruce Ismay's life paints a wonderful picture of the pre-sinking part, a realistic view of the confusing events during the sinking and the immediate aftermath, and an incomplete story of the remainder of Ismay's life. The book has many different threads some of which are thought provoking.
The Titanic movie took the world by storm when released in December of 1997. Like so many others, I was captivated by the main characters, Jack Dawson (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (played by Kate Winslet) and their love story.
The tragic sinking of the Titanic and history of both those who survived and were lost, will forever be remembered with nostalgia and sadness.
To commemorate this event I will be giving away a Music Aboard the Titanic CD. This nostalgic CD contains classical and ragtime music from the actual songbooks used by the White Star Line and includes the famous "Nearer My God to Thee," which is the last known song the band played before the Titanic sank below the waves on April 15, 1912. This music will make you feel as if you're actually on board the Titanic.
If you would like a chance to win this CD just become a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post with your thoughts about the Titanic. You have until midnight on Friday, April 20, 2012 to enter. I will select the winner on Saturday, April 21, 2012 using random.org. Good luck!