The Titanic accident is one of history’s most iconic calamities. Although it was not the largest disaster, it was one of the most unforgettable disasters caused by man’s error of judgment. Sure, the ship sank after colliding with an iceberg, but it has been established that design defects, man’s arrogance, and a shortage of lifeboats killed over a thousand people.
The Titanic carried 2,200 passengers on her maiden voyage. It was a massive ship, one of the largest of its day, and its designers boasted that it was unsinkable (disastrous famous last words). Only 700 people made it out of the freezing Atlantic. And, maybe, because of the enormity of the calamity and the role peeps played, there have been various interpretations of the Titanic narrative, the most well-known of which being the 1997 film directed by James Cameron. Several characters in the film are based on real-life passengers of the Titanic. So, while the massive ship lies at the bottom of the water, it’s time to look a little more into the stories of its passengers.
1. The Unsinkable ‘Molly’ Brown
Margaret Brown (Kathy Bates), popularly known as The Unsinkable Molly Brown, was a socialite, philanthropist, and activist in the United States. She appears to have encouraged Jack’s attempts to court Rose in the film by presenting him with a suit to go to a nice dinner. In actuality, Margaret was much more—she assisted others in reaching and safely boarding the lifeboats, and even after she was safely evacuated from the sinking ship, she sought to persuade the boat’s officer to return for the less fortunate. Later on, she even gathered money to help catastrophe sufferers. She was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor in recognition of her efforts.
2. Ida & Isidore
Ida (Elsa Raven) and Isidore Strauss (Lew Palter) were real-life persons, a married couple whose memorable sequence in the film saw them cuddling while awaiting their destiny. According to reports, they both elected to stay together on the Titanic. Isidore begged his wife to rescue herself, but Ida refused, saying, “We have lived together for so many years.” “Wherever you go, I am.”
3. The Second Mate
Charles Lightoller (played by Jonathan Phillips) was another gentleman on the Titanic. He assisted 29 other guys in balancing an overturned folding boat during the sinking. Even though not everyone survived, he saved lives by sharing his expertise. Following the accident, he worked to enhance the condition of passenger ships by insisting on additional lifeboats and improved communication between ships.
4. The Orchestra Lead
Wallace Hartley (played by Jonathan Evans-Jones), lead the ship’s orchestra, stayed behind, and even performed while the Titanic sank. He and the other musicians attempted to calm the passengers down. None of the musicians made it off the ship, despite the fact that they were performing until the ship was submerged.
5. The First Mate
William Murdoch (played by Ewan Stewart) was the ship’s, first mate. He performed his duties to the best of his abilities and even attempted to avoid colliding with the iceberg (even if the decision came too late). However, in the film adaptation, he was portrayed as less heroic, accepting a bribe, shooting panicked civilians, and finally turning a pistol on himself. William’s remaining family was appalled by the film’s depiction, and the producers personally apologized in his hometown, even donating to the Murdoch Charity Prize.