This is a small notice from THE NEW YORK TIMES reporting on the surprisingly impulsive behavior of the men of high civic standing on-board TITANIC who were among the first to scramble for the lifeboats:
"It was our Congressmen, our Senators, and our 'big men' who led in the crush for the lifeboats."
It was also pointed out that many of the TITANIC heroes that night were also men of prominence within their communities, fellows such as Isador Straus and John Jacob Astor who refused to accept lifeboat seating.
Without a doubt the most glam passenger to survive the TITANIC disaster was the fashion designer Lady Duff-Gordon (1863 – 1935).
Known widely as "Lucile" (her nom du mode), Lady Duff-Gordon was the first British fashion designer to achieve international fame and her followers within the British Royal family, and the reigning aristocracy were legion. She survived the TITANIC disaster alongside one of her illustrious clients, Madeleine Astor, wife of the millionaire industrialist John Jacob Astor, and attached is the great couturier's account that describes the pandemonium she witnessed on deck, the screams heard as TITANIC began her plunge and the sun coming up the next morning. Among that chaos, there is little doubt that as these two women were seen boarding the lifeboats, the steerage passengers were quick to recognize that a first class ticket would have been a wise investment:
"I shall never forget the beauty of that April dawn, stealing over the cold Atlantic, lighting up the icebergs till they looked like giant opals. As we saw other boats rowing alongside, we imagined that most passengers on the TITANIC had been saved, like us; not one of us even guessed the appalling truth..."
The 1953 TITANIC reunion took place in New York City. Numbered among the nine survivors was Edith Russell, who had been nineteen at the time of the ship's sinking. Also in attendance that day was the writer Seymour Ettman, who collaborated with Russell in crafting the attached five page article about her experiences the night TITANIC slipped below the surface of the North Atlantic:
"If the TITANIC sinks, will they transfer the luggage?"
"Miss, if I were you, I'd go back to your room and kiss your lovely things goodbye."
Award winning word-smith Hanson W. Baldwin (1903 - 1991) wrote this tight little essay some 64 years after the TITANIC sinking. He succinctly pieced together the events of that day (April 12, 1912) and clearly indicated that there was plenty of blame to go around for the tremendous loss of life; not simply the Grand Poobahs in the senior positions (Captain Smith and Bruce Ismay) but the small fries as well (such as Second Radio Operator Harold McBride). By the second page, Baldwin commences with an hour by hour break-down of the events on-board TITANIC until she made her final plunge into the deep:
"12:30 a.m. The word is passed: 'Women and children in the boats'. Stewards finish waking passengers below; life-preservers are tied on; some men smile at the precaution.
"'The TITANIC is unsinkable.'"
In an effort to add some element of nobility to that horrid April night when TITANIC slipped under the surface of the sea, an anonymous opinion writer wrote this short editorial six weeks later:
"Men are at heart what they admire, and this spontaneous sympathy, cutting across all lines of caste or class or race, means that the world has risen to a higher realization of its better self. Having inspired such a feeling, the dead of the TITANIC have not died in vain. This is the chief consolation to be offered to the bereaved who survive them."
"The terrible event reads like an epic of night, or like a Greek tragedy on a colossal scale; more, it is a revelation of the power of God in man."
Not long after the Titanic disaster was made known, there were many rumors and half truths that had to be sorted out and recognized as such in order to fully understand the full scope of the catastrophe; the editors of THE NATION printed this article which contributed to that effort:
"...two terrible, damning facts stand out: the first, that the ship was speeding through an ice-field of the presence of which its officers were fully aware; the second, is that every life could readily have been saved had there been boats and rafts enough to keep people afloat in a clear, starry night on an exceptionally smooth Atlantic sea. Both these facts are indisputable."
"As for the lifeboats, these expensive affairs that could cost the large sum of $425.00 apiece - there were but twenty of them in addition to a few rafts..."