Saturday, April 14, 2012

100 Years Ago Tonight – Titanic

We have heard the story all our lives. 100 years ago tonight, on April 14, 1912 at eleven forty PM, the RMS Titanic stuck a glancing blow on an Iceberg 375 miles south of Newfoundland. It was actually on April 15, 1912 the ship “not even God could sink” went down. She was four days into her maiden voyage. Two hours and forty minutes after the iceberg strike she slipped beneath the waves taking the lives of 1,514 people in the process. I will not retell the story here. I am sure others can and will do that. I am more interested in the effect Titanic’s legend has had on our lives.

Titanic was more famous in death than she ever would have been in life. Over the years there have been hundreds of articles, books TV Specials and Movies to keep the story alive. The 710 survivors were haunted for the rest of their lives by a cruel celebrity. I can remember as a child seeing news stories about reunions of the survivors, often on the anniversary of
the sinking.

The last survivor, Millvina Dean, passed away in 2009 at the
age of 97. She was two months old when she was lowered to a lifeboat in a sack and spent the rest of her life famous for something she had no memory of.

For more than seventy years the location of the ship was a mystery. That changed in 1985 when she was located in 12,415 feet of water. Since then the already thriving Titanic industry has swelled to include mining the debris field and high price submarine rides to visit the wreak.

Problems for the Titanic didn’t end with sinking. Due to the growth of iron-eating bacteria on the hull she is growing into the seabed. Visitors who want to see the Titanic still resembling the ship she was will probably need to visit in the next fifty years. Luckily the images will last forever.


  1. The images in my mind of this disaster are tragic enough. The horror of it all. Poor people.

  2. I've always had nightmares of drowning at sea. Something from a prior life perhaps? I cried uncontrollably the first few minutes of the Titanic movie as they "flew" over the ship.