Sunday, April 15, 2012
Titanic Sinking 100th Anniversary
It was the impetus for several movies about it including the blockbuster 1997 James Cameron produced film and diving expeditions to find the sunken liner that was eventually discovered in 1985.
The sinking of the British passenger liner RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912 several hours after colliding with an iceberg caused the deaths of 1,514 people and was the worst peacetime maritime disaster in world history. The passenger list on that maiden voyage included some of the world's wealthiest people at the time and immigrants to the United States and Canada from Great Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and other parts of the world.
One of the facts that has come out about the Titanic sinking in recent years is there was one family of African descent traveling on the ill-fated liner, the Laroches
25 year old Haitian native Joseph Laroche, his pregnant French wife Juliette, and daughters Simonne and Louise, were onboard and in the process of moving from their former home in Paris to Haiti to escape the racial discrimination he'd encountered in France while trying to find a job as an engineer. Laroche's uncle Cincinnatus Leconte was president of Haiti at the time and arranged a job for him as a math teacher.
Laroche's mother had booked first class passage on the liner LaFrance for them but after the Laroche's heard about the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique line's policy of children not being allowed to dine with their parents, they exchanged the tickets for second class passage aboard the Titanic.
Juliette, Simonne and Louise managed to be placed on a lifeboat by Joseph and were picked up later by the RMS Carpathia Joseph did not survive and his body was never recovered Juliette Laroche returned to France with her daughters and later gave birth to a son. Louise died in 1998 as one of the last eight survivors of the disaster.
The disaster involving the 'unsinkable' ship which was the largest built in the world at the time led to improvements in maritime safety. The Titanic remains on the seabed of the North Atlantic gradually disintegrating in 12,415 feet (3794 m) of water.
Since the discovery of the wreck site, thousands of artifacts from arguably the most famous ship in the world have been recovered, have been displayed in museums around the world and the ship still holds the world's collective attention a century later.