As a result of this horrid tragedy, Americans at home felt uneasy. They had been assured that the Titanic would sail smoothly as the best ship of its day, but instead the vessel went down, bearing the lives of almost two thousand people. From that moment on, it was clear that this event would have a lasting effect on each individual. Through the numerous films and novels written about the experience aboard The Titanic, we can see how this event continues to impact our modern lives in many ways.
As the vessel was sinking, there was an extreme amount of chaos to get lifeboats. But men were turned away, an inch away from safety, as only women and children were allowed into the safety boats. In the time period, men were expected to be chivalrous, and sacrifice themselves for their families. Women were considered weak, only alive to care for the children and do the housework, so they were not expected to fight for their lives as it was plunging into the ocean.
Throughout the entire voyage, the different social classes were extremely defined. The lowest class travelers did not dare to mix with the privileged first class. However, in the moments of panic, it no longer mattered where you stood on the social ladder. Every person was simply trying to stay alive, regardless of whom they would have to ride with in the lifeboat to do so. Men, most of whom were left behind on the ship, were all seen as equal, as they all were headed for the same fate. No rank or social class would save them from their destiny, to die in the incident. As the Denver Post said, “The men-by far the greater part of them-remained to die, millionaire and peasant and man of middle class alike, bravely it must have been, sharing each other’s fate and going down to a common grave.” Even though many men were lost, this situation helped unite all people to try and work together to save themselves. Back at home, after the occurrence, all American people were grieving together. They united in mourning and move forward from the devastation.
Important People effected by The Titanic
We can not ignore the many people whose names are remembered for their actions during those chaotic last moments of the RMS Titanic. Though many of them perished in the downfall of the vessel, a few of them made it out of the disaster, and eventually received proper recognition for their deeds. Because of their endeavors, America has learned their names and will continue to remember them for many generations to come. But not everyone's name will be remembered honorably. Let's take a look at the passenger list:
Captain Edward John Smith:
As captain of the Titanic, he made many questionable decisions that helped bring about the downfall of the great vessel. But before this voyage, through the White Star Line corporation, he commanded many other ships including Republic and Olympic. He was in control of Olympic when it collided with a navy cruiser. He had also planned this trip to be his last. Unfortunately and bravely he went down with The Titanic.
"When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experience in nearly forty years at sea, I merely say, uneventful. Of course there have been winter gales, and storms and fog and the like. But in all my experience, I have never been in any accident ... or any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort."
Edward John Smith, 1907
Captain, RMS Titanic, 1912
Captain Smith was planning to retire after the maiden voyage of Titanic.
Robert C Chisholm:
Chisholm was the designer for the lifeboats on the ship. It was actually his lifeboat design that allowed them to be lowered quickly into the water, which in reality helped save many people. The only problem was that almost half of The Titanic's lifeboats had been remonved for aesthetic purposes.
Molly Brown (Margaret Tobin):
On board the Titanic, she helped load people into lifeboats until she was eventually forced into one herself. While in the lifeboat, she and other people worked together to row and keep each other’s spirits up. Once on the Carpathia, she helped the survivors, establishing a Survivor’s Committee, of which she was elected the chair. For her efforts, her name has become very well-known throughout history, and she is remembered as a true American hero.
John Jacob Astor IV:
Probably one of the wealthiest passengers aboard the Titanic, Astor IV was an inventor and the owner of the Astoria Hotel chain, which later became the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. When the ship began to go down, he asked to ride alongside his pregnant wife in the lifeboat, but was not allowed into the vessel. While he watched his wife climb into the safety boat, he stood by with poise, accepting his fate. For this action, he served as a model to the other passengers on the sinking ship.
Isador and Ida Straus:
As the Denver Post from Wednesday, April 17, 1912 stated, “As the women were given the first opportunity to leave the ship and as Mrs. Straus is not among the reported rescued, it is inferred by her friends that she preferred death to parting from her husband. Her age was such that even among the women she would be given choice before the younger ones.” She had the opportunity to get away, but would not part her husband, and gave her spot in the boat away to another person. Somebody out there is alive because of Mrs. Straus, and she should be remembered for this action.
Lord William Pirrie:
The other builder of Olympic and Britannica was Lord Pirrie. He was the chairman of Harland and Wolff in Belfast, and had the same idea of comfort in mind when designing the two ships.
The creator of Levi’s Jeans was aboard the Titanic!