TitanicAs the Titanic fades off into the past, its light remains strong and steady. The great ship won’t let us forget who she was and why she existed. So many stories ring continuously through our minds…

  • Molly Brown quips about going out and retrieving ice on the deck for her late-night drink as the iceberg passes by the first class bar.
  • P. Fletcher charges his bugle before every meal. Apparently, that is British custom. He and all of the lift operators and bellboys perish.
  • Ida Straus refuses a seat in lifeboat #8 in order to stay behind with her husband, Isador. She is one of only five first-class females to perish that night and is the oldest.
  • W.T. Stead unflinchingly reads his book in the first class smoking room throughout the sinking, up till his death when the water comes flooding in.
  • Benjamin Guggenheim casts his lifebelt aside and insists he and his valet “go down like a gentleman.” This one sounds like a legend and nothing more, but no evidence exists to refute or even question it. Still, someone who has witnessed it must have survived, otherwise how does the public know about it.
  • John Phillips, the head wireless operator, persists in sending calls, even after the captain releases him and water floods the room.
  • The band plays “Till the End,” which is true, depending on what one means by “the end.” The band ceases performing long before the break.
  • Molly Brown and Robert Hitchens, the wheel man at the time of Titanic’s collision with the iceberg, in lifeboat #6, argue about whether or not to go back and rescue people in the water. Molly is for it, Hitchens against it.
  • Over a thousand people scream into the night as they die, among them several third-class families such as the Goodwins and Sages. Many are inside the stern when it goes down.
  • Fifth Officer Lowe forms a flotilla with lifeboats 4, 10, 12, and Collapsible D, then returns with volunteers in lifeboat 14 to rescue people in the water after the ship goes down. He saves a handful of people, including a Japanese man strapped to a door and a steward. Everyone else in the water is dead.
  • Second Officer Charles Lightoller and a group of men, including Archibald Gracie, balance upright on an upturned collapsible in the cold darkness for over an hour until they are rescued by lifeboats #4 and #12.

There are countless stories, too many to mention. Many of them are true, while others have been skewered over the years. The spirit of the Titanic shines through, penetrates us. We continue to reflect, yearn to know what really happened long after every survivor has passed on. Its allure doesn’t weaken as long as her story is shared—her real story.


“Mark Hopkins is a professional freelance writer, editor, translator and researcher who writes both fiction and nonfiction. His interests are broad , but he has a passion for the strange and mysterious. He enjoys science, history, the paranormal, and 60s Pop culture, and has been a lifelong Titanic enthusiast. You can find him at LinkedIn or Facebook.”


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