Of course, it was 100 years ago today that the Titanic sank (though it struck the iceberg shortly before midnight). There are so many dimensions to the event that can spin you off into years of fascination.
My own surrounds the Californian — a ship that ten miles away, saw the great ship stop for the night, fire its distress rockets, and yet did not come to its aid. The Carpathia, the ship that did come, had to steam from fifty-four miles away, by which time, 1,500 people were dead.
Anyway, the Titanic intersects with another of my interests, Bayside Cemetery. One victim of the disaster, George Rosenshine is buried there. Like so many plots at the cemetery, it had become overrun. But my friend Anthony Pisciotta, who has done a ton of work at Bayside, cleaned up his grave, along with the family plot.
Interestingly, Rosenshine, who was from a wealthy family and was a first-class passenger, traveled under the assumed name of “Thorne”, as he was unmarried, but accompanying him on the trip was his girlfriend, (or “mistress” to use the terminology of the time), Gertrude Thorne. She survived, though she wasn’t provided for in his will. Coincidentally or not, she’s buried in the Bayside as well.
P.S. Earlier in the night, the Californian’s radio-telegraph operator did attempt to warn the Titanic of ice, but was told by Titanic’s operator to “Shut up”, as they were busy sending passenger traffic.
This incident was filmed for James Cameron’s Titanic, but cut, because the movie was already running more than three hours in length (which limited how many times a theatre could show a movie in a day, thus eating into profits).