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April 15th is Titanic Remembrance Day!

Titanic Museum, Belfast Northern Ireland

The 15th of April is known as Titanic Remembrance Day. It is a day where we pause to remember the sinking of the RMS Titanic in the North Atlantic early of the morning on 15 April 1912. This year marks the 112th anniversary of the sinking of the inaugural White Star Line vessel that was heading from Southhampton, England to New York with stops in Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, (now Cobh) Ireland.

One of two cranes at the Harland and Wolff plant known as Samson and Goliath.

This is also a day where we remember those who died aboard the Titanic. Most of us are aware of the famous passengers who were on board the maiden voyage of the Titanic when it sank in the North Atlantic just after midnight on the 15th of April. Not too many of us in North America know that the ship was the second of three in the Olympic Class built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard, which is still located in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The dry docks that were used to build the RMS Titanic and it's two other sister ships, the RMS Britannic and the RMS Olympic is also the location of the Titanic Museum.

Front Entrance of Titanic Museum, Belfast Northern Ireland.
Drydocks behind the Titanic Museum

The location of the dry docks where the Titanic and it's sister ships were built behind the Titanic Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The disaster that occurred on the night of April 15, 1912 is still considered one of the deadliest maritime disasters involving a passenger cruise ship in the North Atlantic. Of the 2200 on board the maiden voyage, over 1500 lost their lives that night although roughly 700 did survive. There is much we have learned through the years about the sinking and those who perished that night. The Titanic Museum has a number of exhibits and displays about not only the Titanic but also the Olympic and Britannic and the former tender Nomadic is located in front of the museum.

Sign marking the entrance to Astor Park in Green Bay, Wsiconsin

Did you know there were a couple of connections between the Titanic and Northeast Wisconsin? The first connection involved millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, who died on board the Titanic in 1912. Astor was into real estate at the time of his death and owned land around the city of Green Bay although he reportedly never visited the city. There now exists a neighborhood and park that now holds the Astor family name. Jacob's great grandfather whose name was also John Jacob Astor, started the town of Astor in the 1800s that later was incorporated into the city of Green Bay. Astor Park lies within the Astor Historic District in Green Bay and is named after the elder Astor.

Mausoleum of Dr. William Minahan, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Another connection involved Dr. William E. Minahan. Dr. Minahan was born in Chilton, Wisconsin in 1867. He was living in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin at the time when he, his wife Lillian and sister Daisy Minahan traveled to Europe in the spring of 1912. A health issue involving Daisy delayed their return home and the Minahan family just happened to book passage aboard the RMS Titanic. Although Lillian and Daisy survived that night on one of the lifeboats, Dr. Minahan was not so fortunate. His body was discovered a few days later. He is interred in a mausoleum at a Green Bay, Wisconsin cemetery.

More information on the Titanic and the disaster that occurred early in the morning of April 15, 1912 can be found at the Titanic Museum in Belfast and on the Titanic Museum website. The museum is a fascinating place and gives the visitor an understanding on how the three ships were built and the events that led up to the sinking of the Titanic. If you're ever near Belfast, it's definitely a place to visit!

For more information on the Titanic and on Dr. Minahan, you can search through the web site Encylopedia Titanica.

Source: (2019) William Edward Minahan Encylopedia Titanica (ref. #208 updated 16 April 2019, 16:36:46 PM)

Pictures by David Miller

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