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100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic

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#1 nitewatchman


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:25 AM

‎100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic

As most people already know, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Royal Mail Ship Titanic. Everyone knows of the sinking but few are aware of the other events that occurred and were planned but never completed.

The journey began at Southampton on Wednesday April 10, 1912 at noon. By sundown, Titanic has stopped in Cherbourg, France to pickup additional passengers and cargo. The perishable cargo included 10,000 tins of Caviar, 15,000 bottles of wines and champagnes, 5,000kg of rare cheeses and 2,200 cases of French Mayonnaise destined for Mexico. In addition several luxury motorcars were loaded for the trip. That evening she sailed for Queenstown, Ireland and at 1:30PM on Thursday, she headed out into the Atlantic.

The HMS Titanic’s maiden voyage was planned to be a trip to show the might, comfort and safety of the British passenger fleet. The voyage was to carry the Titanic on a tour landing first in New York City on April 17th and after a short stay proceeding on to Havana, Cuba on April 22nd. Titanic would depart from Havana on April 30th, call on Vera Cruz, Mexico on May 5th, off load her cargo and proceed back to Southampton.

The seasoned transatlantic passengers were deeply impressed by the new ship. She was so massive that they barely felt the movement of the sea at all. Her huge, powerful engines produced none of the annoying vibration common on other steamers, and their noise was barely perceptible. She achieved this extraordinary level of comfort whole traveling at 22 knots. Weather was pleasant and clear, and the water temperature was about 55 degrees.

On Sunday, April 14th, the fifth day at sea, Titanic received 5 different ice warning but continued to run ahead at 22 knots and the line’s Managing Director Bruce Ismay relished the idea of arriving in New York a day ahead of schedule. At 11:40, a lookout in the crow’s nest spotted an iceberg dead ahead. He notified the bridge officer and First Officer Murdoch ordered the ship turned hard to port. He signaled the engine room to reverse direction, full astern. The ship turned slightly, but it was too large, moving much too fast, and the greatest maritime disaster in history began. During that night of heroism, terror and tragedy, 705 lives were saved; 1502 lives, 8 dogs, all the cargo, the motorcars and the great ship were lost.

As a result the ship never made her later ports of call. Family waited on the docks in New York, passengers waited for the Titanic in Cuba and Mexico and in Vera Cruz stevedores waited to unload the perishable cargo shipped from France which never came.

The sinking of the ship caused hardships in Mexico in particular. Mexico relied upon shipments of luxury foods and condiments from Europe to supply their markets. With the loss of the HMS Titanic, a shortage of Caviar, wine and Mayonnaise was created that persisted for several years. The anguish with the loss was so great that a National Day of Mourning was declared on the day the Titanic was to land in Vera Cruz which is still observed to this day.

This National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course as Sinko de Mayo.

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