New Orleans Lost; Mrs. Astor Safe

Apparently, the stories we tell ourselves never much change . . .

From The Sinking of the Titanic (1912)
by Jay Henry Mowbray

“When the first of the 56- foot lifeboats were being filled, the first stampede of panic-stricken men occurred. Within a dozen feet of where I stood I saw fully ten men throw themselves into the boats already crowded with women and children.

“About ten shots sounded in quick succession. The six cowardly men were stopped in their tracks, staggered and collapsed one after another. At least two of them vainly attempted to creep toward the boats again. The others lay quite still. This scene of bloodshed served its purpose. In that particular section of the deck there was no further attempt to violate the ‘women and children first’ rule.”

Were any of these men from the first- or second-class cabins?” Williams was asked.

“It was hard to tell. All of them were so scantily dressed. In the semi-darkness and prevailing excitement faces left no distinct impression with me. I should say that most, if not all of them, were from the steerage.

That’s right, because it’s always about the misbehavior of those louts in the cheap sections, and never about having more friggin’ lifeboats.

Frame capture from Jared Arsement’s home video of citizen rescue efforts. Full video available on Current TV.