April 25, 1912
The Titanic Disaster.
The terrible event of last week, the sinking of the Titanic with the loss of nearly 2000 lives, ranks as the greatest marine disaster on record. The largest vessel ever built (one-sixth of a mile in length), "practically unsinkable," and fitted up in the most luxurious manner to pander to the tastes of the millionaires for whose use mainly she was intended, has sunk on her first voyage, with as little notice to her occupants and as little regard for their wishes or feelings as would be given or manifested by a fishing boat on the Grand Banks.
While universal sorrow is felt for the great loss of life through this disaster, and sincere sympathy for those so terribly bereaved, there seems little reason to think that the owners of the steamer (the White Star Line) are deserving of any sympathy. They are, rather, to be held responsible for the deaths of the unfortunates who lost their lives through this disaster, directly attributable to greed. The vessel was fitted up with every device to attract the worshippers of luxury. She was proclaimed abroad as "unsinkable," though her builders, her owners and her officers knew that an unsinkable ship was an impossibility. Capt. Smith, who, for some years, has commanded steamers of the White Star Line on their first voyages, was put in charge and Mr. Bruce Ismay, who is really at the head of the owning company, made the voyage in the steamer. His object was to see that she made the fastest voyage on record. This would ensure her the cream of the passenger traffic between America and Europe for the summer.
The captain of the Titanic was duly notified, by wireless telegraphy, that an ice field lay before him. He knew its dangers, but he dashed into it, travelling at the rate of twenty-six miles an hour. Mr. Ismay was at his elbow and he knew that his job depended on making a record voyage.
When the crash came, then it was found that there were not boats enough to accommodate one half the passengers. There was nothing to do but put women and children into such boats as were available and let the men go to their death.
Mr. Ismays life was saved.