Sinking of the Titanic

Today in history — April 15, 1912 — “Iceberg straight ahead!”, exclaimed a sailor on the RMS Titanic, the infamous cruise ship. Regardless of whether the quote from the movie Titanic was actually said, the sailors on the real RMS Titanic did spot an iceberg while sailing on the North Atlantic Ocean at 11:40 p.m.

Ironically, had the ship continued its course and hit the iceberg, the ship would have stayed afloat. However, the sailors instead tried to dodge the iceberg by turning the ship. But because it was sailing too quickly, the ship hit the iceberg, its fatal blow.

The more-than-2,000 passengers felt the “thud,” which made coffee and tea in the dining halls spill on tablecloths, stain women’s dresses, and interrupted conversations. However, the sailors did not alert the passengers. Feeling safe, they continued to enjoy their parties and went to bed after.

However, hours later, the passengers woke up to a sinking ship filling with water. To save themselves, they wore life vests, ran, swam for their lives in freezing seawater, and evacuated into lifeboats while hearing the calm, soothing music of a string quartet.

But the British passenger liner did not have enough lifeboats because planners thought the ship was too strong to sink. And after the ship sank, many of the lifeboats still had room for more passengers, but alas, the ship was not evacuated early enough. Thus, more than 1,300 people died early April 15, 1912. Read more about one of the worst maritime disasters of history in “Sinking of the Titanic”!

“Sinking of the Titanic”
http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/titanicsinking.html

Advertisements

Japanese Internment Camps in WWII

Today in history — February 19, 1942 — U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which imprisoned 75,000 Japanese Americans and 45,000 Japanese nationals in “internment camps” across the country.

A local man from Hawaii in Northern California, Masuto Hata was imprisoned even though he fought for America in WWI. Also, even though his son Makoto stayed in a concentration camp, he enlisted in the military and got seriously wounded in a battle in Italy.

Read more about it in “Local Japanese Soldier Is Killed” (bottom text and right image).

Local Japanese Soldier Is Killed

Local relatives have been notified one Fresno soldier of Japanese ancestry has been killed in action and another seriously wounded.

Private Haruo Kawamoto lost his life on the Italian front and Private Makoto M. Hata is in serious condition with a shell fragment wound in the abdomen. Hata is in a hospital in Italy.

Kawamoto, 20, was a graduate of the Central Union High School. He was an honor student and one of the speakers at the graduation exercises in the Fresno Japanese Assembly Center in 1942. He entered the service in July, 1944, received his basic training at Camp Blanding, Fla., and was sent overseas in January. He served in France and Italy with an infantry division. Two of his brothers are in the service: Corporal Yurio Kawamoto of Fort Sam Houston, Tex., who volunteered in March 1941, and Private First Class Mitsu Kawamoto who is serving in Italy. Another brother, Toshio Kawamoto, is living near Fresno, and his father and two sisters are in the relocation center at Amachi, Colo.

Hata, 23, has seen service in Italy and France with the infantry. He is a son of Masuto Hata of Ashlan Avenue.”

Makoto Hata – Fresno Bee, Republican, Fresno CA, 05/09/1945 p. 14


Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Died

Today in history — January 22, 1890 — Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku died. He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming and surfer who made surfing popular on the U.S. Mainland.

Read more about him in “Duke Kahanamoku.”

Duke Kahanamoku
https://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/historical-articles/duke-kahanamoku-in-u-s-newspapers/


Hawaiian Women: The Most Eligible Bachelorettes?

The New York Sun claimed Rose Davison, Hawaii’s representative at the Pan-American fair, said all Hawaiian girls were beautiful, were heiresses, and were waiting for American youths to propose marriage to them. Davison denied saying that, but received tons of letters from interested men, such as the following:

“You say the [Hawaiian] girls are very wealthy. There are nice men … who would trade color for wealth in this country; but very few of them have money to take them to Hawaii. Could they only meet both their conditions might be bettered.”

Read more about it in “Wanted as Wives.”

“Wanted as Wives: American Hearts Fired by Tale of Beautiful Hawaiian Heiresses”
Albuquerque daily citizen, Aug. 19, 1902, P. 4
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020613/1902-08-19/ed-1/seq-4/


Brother Joseph Dutton of Molokai

In the past five years, Father Damien and Marianne Cope became Hawaii’s first two Catholic saints. Brother Joseph Dutton could become the third. Like them, he spent the rest of his life, forty-two years, helping exiled leprosy victims in Kalaupapa, Molokai.

Brother Joseph wasn’t always a Catholic missionary. In Wisconsin, the civil war veteran succeeded in his career, but struggled with depression, a failed marriage, and alcoholism. At age forty, Brother Joseph adopted the Catholic faith, retired from his job, and started a new life. He told his friends,

I had a feeling that I wanted to be in touch with human sufferings, to be active in the relief of those of my fellow-beings who were afflicted, yet so as not to bring me in direct contact with the outside world.

Read more about Brother Joseph in “Washington Beau Brummel Who Turned Monk Spent 36 Years Among Lepers of Molokai.”

Washington Beau Brummel Who Turned Monk Spent 36 Years Among Lepers of Molokai
The evening world, June 28, 1922, Page 20
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030193/1922-06-28/ed-1/seq-20/