The Titanic Commutator Issue 173


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Unanswered questions about the sinking of Titanic will always be a reason that draws us to her story. we are pleased to feature two original and absorbing investigations in this issue. The first was completed early in 2005; the second is a follow-up by Parks Stephenson to Simon Mills’ article, More Questions Than Answers and the History Channel, Titanic’s Final Moments documentary first televised in February 2006.

Shortly after the kerfuffle caused from the 1998 Titanic movie depicting a shooting by Officer Murdoch, Tad Fitch and Bill Wormstedt began their sleuthing involving dozens of people and a wealth of sources. Following the tried and true method of Sherlocking the whereabouts and statements of passengers, officers and crew, the result is a well-organized and very readable bit of detective work.

There are always people looking for overlooked Titanic treasures. Karen Kamuda found a bargain on eBay, unbelievable as that seems. Knowledge of shipping history made it possible to spot a rarity.

As this journal went to press, Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American Titanic survivor died. Although she lived close by, she mainted privacy throughout her life. Paul Phaneuf, a funeral director and THS advisory board member put his thoughts on paper in part two of her story in the next issue.

The launch and grand opening of the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Missouri was stunning. A warm, sunny April morning was a great beginning after disappointing delays and a cold, wet winter. In this special edition celebrating the launch and opening eighteen pages of text and gorgeous color photos tell the story.

A tease from a chapter of No Place for a Boy, Tom McCluskie’s life experiences at Harland & Wolff is in SeaPoste. Tom is a speaker at THS’s “Titanic in First, Second and Third Class” convention weekend October 6, 7 and 8, 2006 A special treat: Randy Bryan Bigham is loaning a March 1912, Dorothy Gibson film the silent screen star made just before she sailed on Titanic that will be shown after Saturday night’s gala dinner.

Contents in this Issue

Titanic is Making Waves in Branson, The Editors.

More Questions Than Answers, Another Point of View by Parks Stephenson.

Did An Officer Commit Suicide on Titanic? by Bill Wormstedt and Tad Fitch.

A Titanic Treasure by Karen Kamuda.

Sea Poste: Topics include: International Ice Patrol Wreath Drop April 2006, Unsinkable to Unmentionable — excerpt from Tom McCluskie’s upcoming autobiography; orphans from Titanic and treatment of steerage passengers; Questions on collectibles: Life preserver from Titanic? A postcard photo of Captain Smith? Another Carpathia medal? What does X mean on a White Star napkin ring?

Lillian Gertrud Asplund, The Last American Survivor

Ken Schultz

Cover: In Branson, a celebratory moment at the time of the attraction’s official “launch.” After a bottle of champagne is broken over Titanic’s bow by “Captain Smith,” rockets shoot into the air from the forward deck. Photo courtesy Jim Lersch

This is an out-of-print issue. All out-of-print issues are printed on demand, bound and reproduced in black and white. Please note some out-of-print Commutators may no longer be available. Prices are subject to the current cost of printing.

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 0.25 in