Little Known History of the Titanic

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Shared February 22, 2019

At this point in time, we know that the maiden voyage of one of the world’s most famous ships went catastrophically wrong and that the loss of life in the sinking was substantial. But, there are things that not many know about the RMS Titanic, things that are not only interesting but will change the way you think about it forever. Here, we’ve compiled some of the more thought-provoking facts about the ship that has affected so many throughout the last 107 years. This is Little Known History of the Titanic.

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6. Millvina Dean
This woman was the youngest survivor of the disaster and was just two months old when the ship went down. She, her mother, and her brother were some of the first third-class passengers to get off the ship and into a lifeboat. Her father sadly passed with the ship, and Eliza Gladys “Millvina” Dean passed in 2009 at the age of 97. Her ashes were spread where the Titanic had set sail, the Southampton docks.

5. The Ship Split in Two
Yes, yes, we know; you want to tell us that, duh, everybody knows the ship split in two when it went down. But, did you know that many survivors, when giving their account of the night’s events, told of how the ship had split in two, but a lot of people didn’t believe them or just dismissed their claims? They ended up listening to the highest-ranking, surviving officer on the ship who said the ship slid down in one piece. Those poor people were right, and they were told that their memories of what had happened were incorrect. What a shame.

4. The Famous Discovery by Robert Ballard
Robert Ballard was a professor of Oceanography and United States Navy officer who spent quite a bit of time searching for the Titanic wreckage. He was aboard a French research ship, Le Suroit, in the summer of 1985 searching for it, but then the research ship was recalled. He was then transferred to R/V Knorr, where he wanted to use his new underwater vehicle, Argo, to look for the ship. He had approached the Navy about financing the search, but they weren’t interested, although they were interested in finding two of their missing submarines, the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion. They agreed to help him finance his endeavor, but only if he first investigated and searched for their subs, which he did, and he found them by following a debris trail that was caused by the implosion of the subs due to pressure. He was then given the green light to look for the Titanic, which he ended up finding on September 1, 1985.

3. Isidor and Ida Straus
Straus was the co-owner of Macy’s department store and perished alongside his wife on the ship when it sank. He and his wife, Ida, had spent the winter in Europe, mainly in southern France at Cape Martin. Colonel Archibald Gracie IV offered to ask if spots for Isidor and Ida could be made aboard a lifeboat, but Isidor refused to go before other men and while there were still women and children on the ship. Ida was then offered spots on lifeboats but decided to stay on the ship with her husband. Ida made her maid, Ellen Bird, get on a lifeboat and then gave her her fur coat and said she would not be needing it. They were last seen standing arm-in-arm on the deck together. Isidor’s remains were located, Ida’s were not.

2. Charles Herbert Lightoller
Now, the name may not ring any bells for you, but this man was not only the second officer on board the Titanic, but he was a significant part of history in other events as well. First of all, he was the most senior member of the crew to survive, but after his survival, which was epic in itself, he moved on to the First World War. He became an officer of the Royal Navy and commanded the HMS Garry, a ship that would sink a German U-boat, UB-110, by ramming it like a boss. There was controversy surrounding survivors of the U-boat, and you get a gist of what happened from Lightoller’s statement on it in his memoir when he says he “refused to accept that hands-up business.” Then, in the Second World War, he didn’t allow for his yacht, Sundowner, to be requisitioned for the Battle of Dunkirk, and instead, sailed himself over into the action and repatriated 127 British soldiers. His action sailing one of the battles “little boats” earned him a mention in official reports and he inspired the character, “Mr. Dawson,” in the movie Dunkirk.