The Titanic Commutator Issue 210


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This is the second issue for 2015 THS membership

It was a brutal winter in New England and Spring blossoms were a welcome sight. The Titanic Centennial Memorial Garden and Walkway survived nicely; the deep snow cover insulated the shrubs for the most part and they didn’t succumb to winterkill from the severe cold. The memorial wreath and flowers placed on April 15th (covers) were a reminder not only of remembering those who were lost on Titanic but also of God’s annual renewal of life.

Some letters we have received over time involved questions about the immigrant experience and life on a voyage to America from Europe. Was it terrible? Two articles in this issue speak to conditions: Steerage Class Accommodations – Cunard Steamship Line 1879, written by a reporter who decided to travel from New York to Liverpool to see for himself if it was as described. Steerage Class Conditions – A Report of the immigration Condition 1911 based on information obtained by special agents traveling as steerage passengers on twelve different transatlantic steamers.

Downton Abbey fans will understand and appreciate, Bastion of Masculinity, men-only activities among the elite 1st class in the smoking room on Titanic’s last night.

Some newspaper accounts of the Titanic disaster were notorious for exaggeration, misrepresentation and outright falsehoods that were printed to sell papers. Often personal reputations were ruined and some fabrications live to this day. Lisa McDougald sets the record straight about the Fortune family.

The sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 was a factor contributing to the entrance of the United States into World War One and solidified the public’s opinions towards Germany. President Woodrow Wilson’s isolationist foreign policy held his position of neutrality for almost two more years before the U.S. entered the war. Many consider the sinking a turning point. Editorial cartoons and headlines reflect a panorama of responses-sorrow, heroism, ambivalence, consolation, and anger.

The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 advanced many ideas that have shaped the very landscape of modern America. Its legacy was wide-ranging–from movements in popular and high culture to changes in the nation’s power structure, architecture and influence in commerce and technology. The White Star Line participated in the innovative World’s Fair with an exhibit promoting their ships.

The size and shape of the deadly breach in Titanic’s hull is described in Titanic-freeboard contact with the iceberg by eyewitness passenger accounts resulting in a combination of circumstances.
As you can see, there is quite a variety as well as thought-provoking subjects in this issue. Enjoy!


Bastion of Masculinity
By Stijn Bammens

THS Convention April 29, 30, May 1, 2016
Celebrating All Things Titanic

Fortune Family Member Debunks False Titanic Stories
By Lisa McDougald

The Lusitania Disaster in Editorial Cartoons and Newspaper Headlines

White Star and the World’s Fair

Steerage Class Accommodations
Cunard Steamship Line 1879

Pall Mall Gazette, August 9, 1879

Steerage Class Conditions
A Report of the Immigration Commission 1911

Titanic-Freeboard Contact with the Iceberg
By Eugene Nesmeyanov

Sea Poste
A correction in a previous article: Titanic’s Guardian Angel; thanks to Mike Herbold’s research in The Sad Story of Grace A. Brereton in Commutator No. 209; reply to ten frequently asked questions.
Page 84

Book Notes
Titanic’s Resurrected Secret-HEW by Robert Difulgo; reviewed by Ray Lepien
Page 63

April 15, 2015, Oak Grove Cemetery, Springfield, Massachusetts; a floral wreath in THS colors framed with daffodils, graces the Titanic Centennial Memorial. THS founder and president, Ed Kamuda is remembered (right)

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 0.25 in