Sunday, April 15, 2012

The RMS Titanic and the Geography Grab-Bag


 April 15, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.  If one's Titanic addiction is not satisfied with the reshowing of the 1997 movie and all the television specials then there are some geography and geography-related tidbits out there to help quench the need for all things Titanic.

ESRI has created a map show the homes of all Titanic passengers.  The map shows their destination, class, whether or not they survived, and more.  Interestingly the passenger lists included rich Latin Americans, middle class Japanese, and poor Chinese as well as the well known and stereotypical Americans, British, and Irish.  Surprisingly there were two South Dakotans on the Titanic (which equals the total number of people from states which were part of the Confederacy).  Both South Dakotans were Norwegian, South Dakota has a large Norwegian population, in origin and were in third class.  (Hat tip:  Google Maps Mania)

Google Earth Blog has download links for the Titanic's wreckage on the ocean floor in Google Earth.

National Geographic has a Titanic page with plenty of articles and features on the ship.

For those wanting a full virtual tour of the ship I recommend the out-of-print adventure game Titanic: Adventure out of Time.  The unofficial fan blog has plenty of information on the game.  The game came complete with a walking tour which allowed the player to ignore the game and walk around the ship with various tour guides in certain spots.



The below video is from the game.  Stop the video at 6:30 if you do not want to ruin the game's ending.



The last bit I have is the sad story of the Titanic Memorial in Washington DC.

Photo by Catholicgauze
The memorial was commissioned by the Women's Titanic Memorial Association and dedicated in 1931.  The memorial was in memory of all the men who died on the ship offering their place on lifeboats to women and children.  It was a monument to the chivalry of those men.  The dedication on front and back reads

TO THE BRAVE MEN
WHO PERISHED
IN THE WRECK
OF THE TITANIC
APRIL 15 1912
THEY GAVE THEIR
LIVES THAT WOMEN
AND CHILDREN
MIGHT BE SAVED
ERECTED BY THE
WOMEN OF AMERICA

TO THE YOUNG AND THE OLD
THE RICH AND THE POOR
THE IGNORANT AND THE LEARNED
ALL
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES NOBLY
TO SAVE WOMEN AND CHILDREN

The memorial was placed along New Hampshire Avenue at the start of Washington's Rock Creek Parkway.  This was and still is a very prominent position in the capital near the White House and major entry/exit ways for the district.


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However, as the 1960s progressed the ideas of chivalry faded away.  The monument suffered along with its virtues.  The prime location was declared the spot for the new Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  The monument was moved out of the way into a corner of southwest DC near the area known as the Waterfront.


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This area became a ghetto as white flight occurred.  Only in the last ten years has the area begun to recover.  However, the neighborhood is far from perfect and the monument is still overlooked by many as it sits at the end of a river walk up against Fort Lesley J. McNair.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photo and information. I didn't know or perhaps just didn't remember about the monument. BTW Just watched the NOVA episode on “Why Ships Sink”. Interesting facts like the Titanic and Costa Concordia disasters being virtually 100 years apart as well as details on other ship disasters. You can watch it for free on demand at their website at http://video.pbs.org/video/2223857670. Hope you like it too.