Titanic Blog

MOTHER'S DAY AND MEMORIAL DAY

When it comes to celebrating moms and honoring those who’ve gone before us, Titanic offers some of the most interesting ties to both Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. May is not only a time to appreciate and celebrate mothers, but it also gives us time to reflect on those we’ve lost and remember them with fondness. This month our experts are sharing their most memorable stories from Titanic that link to mothers, love and loss.

Perhaps one of the most well-known stories surrounding Titanic love and loss is that of Isidor and Ida Straus. Their bond was so strong that not even a sinking ship could keep them apart. After spending most of their lives as a couple, Mrs. Straus could not bear to be separated from her husband. As our expert and director ofTitanic research Bill Sauder put it,” Upon reaching the lifeboats, Mrs. Straus elected to stay on board, saying "I will not be separated from my husband."  Seeing that she was adamant, it was suggested that Mr. Straus could accompany her into a lifeboat, an offer he in turn refused; "I will not go before the other men.” They could have easily used their age or position as a screen and quietly left Titanic, but did not.” Their story goes down in history as one of the greatest love stories involving the Ship.

Though much of what surrounds Titanic involves great loss and tragedy, there were also moments of relief and rejoicing. For Madame Marcelle Navratil that moment came when she saw her two boys on the cover of a newspaper after the Ship sank. She’d been left all alone after her husband kidnapped their two sons, changed their names on their passports and boarded Titanic. They too were left all alone after their father succumbed to the sinking. Quickly dubbed ‘The Titanic Orphans,’ the boys were taken in by a family in New York City. It wasn’t until after their mother saw them in the newspaper that they were finally reunited with her – 32 days after the sinking. It is this particular story that resonates the most with our director of underwater research, PH Nargeolet.

With so many stories of love and loss, families and friendships it’s difficult to think about Titanic and not associate it with those special days set aside reminding us to take time out and appreciate people. This year we honor both mothers and those we’ve lost, whether in battle or in unthinkable tragedies, and celebrate the lives of those who remain near and dear to us. We wish you all a very special Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.

 

TITANIC EXPERTS DISCUSS MOTHER'S DAY

The month of May is known for celebrating Mother’s Day and Memorial Day in the United States, and we asked our experts what Titanic story they found most inspiring about mother’s specifically and anyone else on the Ship.
PH Nargeolet 
For me, the most moving story of a Titanic mother involves a woman who never set foot on the ship. Madame Marcelle Navratil lived in Nice, France. She was the mother of two young boys, ages two and four. She was also unhappily married to a tailor. Shortly before Titanic set sail, her husband Michel kidnapped their two boys, changed the names on their passports and took them on board the Ship hoping for a new life in America. For several torturous days, a frantic Madame Navratil, still in Nice, had absolutely no idea what had happened to her children. Then, shortly after Titanic sank, she picked up a newspaper and saw a photo of two familiar little faces – two boys who’d been nicknamed “The Titanic Orphans”. Their father had died in the tragedy but these mysterious children had survived the unthinkable. They were being cared for by a family in New York City. Madame Navratil confirmed the boys’ true identities and set sail for New York. Thirty-two days after the sinking of Titanic she was reunited with her sons.
Bill Sauder
The story I find most inspiring is the story of Ida and Isidor Straus. He was the co-owner of Macy's department store and the couple was traveling together in First Class after a long vacation in France. Upon reaching the lifeboats, Mrs. Straus elected to stay on board, saying "I will not be separated from my husband."  Seeing that she was adamant, it was suggested that Mr. Straus could accompany her into a lifeboat, an offer he in turn refused; "I will not go before the other men.” They could have easily used their age or position as a screen and quietly left Titanic, but did not.

 

A LOOK AT THE EXPERTS

A Look at the Experts

RMS Titanic, Inc. was formed for the purpose of exploring the wreck of Titanicand its surrounding ocean areas; obtaining oceanographic material and scientific data; and using the data and retrieved artifacts for historical verification, scientific education and public awareness. Serving as the exclusive salvor in possession of the wreck site, RMS Titanic, Inc. is committed to engaging the global community in Titanic’s story through educational, historical, scientific and conservation based programs.

Much of what is known today aboutTitanic comes from the hard work and dedication of researchers and historians. Without their efforts some of the Ship’s greatest mysteries would remain unsolved, and the stories of her passengers and crew would begin to dissipate. We are proud to have a few elite experts on our team who contribute to these efforts: Paul-Henri Nargeolet (PH), director of underwater research; Bill Sauder, director of Titanic research; and Alex Klinghofer, vice president of collections.

With more than 30 dives under his belt, PH contributes to the oceanographic and scientific research involvingTitanic, and is integral in preparing an archeological report of the expeditions.As a leading authority on the wreck site, he has lead five expeditions and supervised the recovery of 5,000 artifacts. Having been to the wreck site more than anyone in the world, his plethora of knowledge pertaining to the science of Titanic and underwater exploration makes him a tremendous asset for RMS Titanic, Inc.

Contributing to the historical facts behind the Ship’s construction, its passengers and its crew, Bill has over 25 years of experience with Titanic’s story. He’s worked with Ken Marshall, maritime artist; Robert Ballard, wreck site discoverer; and James Cameron, creator of the 1997 film, Titanic among others. His expertise is unmatched in the architecture, mechanics and art of the Ship.

A nationally recognized museum profession with a rare combination of curatorial and conservation experience, Alex oversees the preservation of the artifacts. She spends most of her days at the laboratory where she and her team work painstakingly to ensure each artifact is prepared with delicacy and perfection. Having previously served as a collections assessor, grant reviewer and presenter for regional and national museums and cultural organizations, she provides a wealth of knowledge in Titanic’s history and the connections between artifacts and the Ship’s passengers and crew members.

Without these skilled professionals on RMS Titanic, Inc.’s team, carrying on the legacy of this great Ship would not be possible. Each of them bring tremendous amounts of knowledge and experience, and a passion for telling the story of Titanic, her passengers and her crew. They will all be featured more prominently in future newsletters as they continue to share a behind the scenes look into the world of RMS Titanic, Inc.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet – Director of Underwater Research
I graduated from the French Naval Academy in 1968.  I was trained as a naval officer and spent 25 years in the French Navy.  My expertise was in diving, both on the underwater demolition team and as a deep submersible pilot.  In 1985 when the Titanic wreck was discovered by a joint French American expedition, the French asked me to be the leader of the exploration and recovery expeditions----a dream job I couldn’t possibly say no to.  A year later I left the French Navy to join IFREMER (French Institute for Research and Exploration of the Sea) and commanded six expeditions to the Titanic wreck site.

 

Bill Sauder – Director of Titanic Research
My first job was as a tour guide on the Queen Mary in 1978. A position opened up in management and I was promoted to Exhibits Coordinator, in charge of design and updating out displays. When Dr. Ballard discovered the wreck, I was asked to help identify the many thousands of photographs brought back, and contributed to his first three books. From there I went on to work on the Cyberflix "Titanic: Adventure out of Time" game (the first serious computer model of the interiors of Titanic), and then acted as a consultant for several Jim Cameron projects, including the movie.  I had been working for Premier Exhibitions as a consultant since 2000, but was asked on permanently as Director of Titanic Research in 2011.

Alexandra  Klingelhofer – VP of Collections
I have always been interested in archaeology, history and art, through books, movies and travel – imagining what life was like in the past. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in ancient near eastern studies – Hittites, Babylonians and Phoenicians – I changed direction from archaeology to get an MSc (Master of Science, UK) degree in object conservation. I joined Premier Exhibitions, Inc. in 2008 to oversee the care of its Titaniccollection. With a goal to preserve the legacy of Titanic, I conserve, monitor and protect the items in my care so that they can be used to educate the public through exhibitions, programs and publications. Having acquired a wealth of information about material culture, people and societies from Egyptian burials to mid-20th century folk art over the course of my career, I have discovered that researching Titanic’s stories is equally fulfilling and allows me to contribute to the general knowledge of this iconic Ship and its passengers. Through research, I try to link them to the real world of the past and make them relevant to the present. Every artifact has a story – it’s just a question of finding it.

SECOND CLASS PASSENGER FATHER THOMAS R. BYLES

Second class passenger Father Thomas R. Byles was born in Yorkshire on February 26, 1870, under the name Roussel Davids Byles. He was the eldest of the seven children born to Louisa Davids and Alfred Holden Byles, a businessman and congregational minister from a Protestant family. Though he was raised Protestant, Father Byles struggled with his faith, and while attending school in Oxford, England he converted to Catholicism. He graduated in 1894 and furthered his studies throughout various stops in Europe. Five years later Father Byles traveled to Rome and studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1902, taking the name of Thomas. Three years later he moved to Ongar, Essex where he made the St. Helen church his home.

One of Father Byles’ younger siblings, William, also converted to Catholicism but moved to America. It was there that he met and fell in love with Katherine Russell of Brooklyn, NY. It was for this reason that Father Byles was traveling on Titanic, as he was to officiate their wedding ceremony on the Sunday after his arrival.

While on board the Ship, Father Byles offered Sunday mass to second and third class passengers and in the aftermath of Titanic hitting the iceberg, he offered confession and prayers. It’s been said that he refused a seat on the lifeboats in order to assist others and offer continued prayers for those left on board. Sadly, this would be his fate and he would not make it to New York to attend his brother’s wedding. William and Katherine’s ceremony was not postponed, and they were married by another priest. However, immediately following their wedding they changed into mourning clothes to attend a requiem mass for Father Byles. His home church honored him by placing a door and stained glass window in memory of their priest.

THANKS GIVING DINNER: A TITANIC FIRST-CLASS DINING EXPERIENCE

The wonder and opulence for which Titanic was known extended far past her exterior and modern amenities and on to the delicious food that was served. With over 6,000 meals prepared daily for the 2,228 passengers and crew members on board, the Ship’s meals were more delectable than ever before. Everything from menu selection, to the table settings to the what guests wore were all eloquently thought of prior to enjoying those luxurious dinners. In order to replicate such elegance we’ve put together all you’ll need for a successful first-class dining experience.

The Preparation:

In preparation for such an extravagant meal, you’ll of course need to select a date and send out formal invitations, complete with information on how to dress. These should reflect the theme and luxuriousness of the dinner that will be served, so having a good idea of the menu will make selecting the right invitation easier. This will also help define what centerpieces to choose. These were often elaborate displays of flowers, fruits and greenery set in crystal vases or dishes. In addition, you will need to select the china, dinnerware and linens for the table setting, and silver platters for serving each course. Once you’ve established all of the necessary items, you can begin elaborating on your menu.

The Setting:

The dining table should be covered in linens, followed by centerpieces, small dishes of nuts, olives or sweets, and then the place settings – for a personalized touch, print place cards for each of your guests. Each place setting will need a side plate, large fork, dessert fork, napkin, cheese knife, dessert spoon, dinner knife, soup spoon, and three glasses for champagne/sparkling wine, white wine and red wine.

The Menu:

True Edwardian-era dinners were served in courses, and could include as many as eleven different meals. The full eleven options are listed below, but we’ve provided a modified version to cut down on the bulk of it. In addition, these dinners began with a reception or cocktail hour where guests sipped on white wine or champagne as they mingled, proceeded through the delicious courses and concluded with after dinner coffee and cigars. Selecting each menu item can often be tedious, because it involves ensuring that everything from appetizers to entrees, to beverages and desserts all complement one another.

 

 

The Experience:

As previously mentioned your guests will be greeted with cocktails and time for mingling upon arrival in their formal attire. They would then be escorted into the dining room and be seated for their first course, hors d’oeuvres. The second course would be soup, followed by fish, then entrees, with the fifth course being removes, a sixth being punch or sorbet, the seventh being a roast, followed by salad, then a cold dish, with the tenth being sweets and the final being desert. Yes, a lot of food so be sure your guests know to come hungry, and don’t forget that even after all that food guests will still be served coffee after dinner.

The extravagancies of the Edwardian-era meals make us wonder how anyone stayed thin during that era. Of course, most women and others with smaller appetites would often choose smaller portions or skip courses. Regardless of how much you serve, as long as the elegance is present the legacy of Titanic will be too. 

We dined the last night in the Ritz restaurant. It was the last word in luxury. The tables were gay with pink roses and white daisies, the women in their beautiful shimmering gowns of satin and silk, the men immaculate and well-groomed, the stringed orchestra playing music from Puccini and Tchaikowsky. The food was superb: caviar, lobster, quail from Egypt, plover’s eggs, and hothouse grapes and fresh peaches. The night was cold and clear, the sea like glass.

– First-class passenger, Mrs. Walter Douglas

MUSICIANS’ PLAQUE DISCOVERY

From first-class notables to members of the crew, many have honored those whose lives were lost as Titanicsank over 101 years ago by sharing their stories. A story that resonates is that of the eight brave musicians who played until the Ship sank, calming those on board with the sounds of popular and classical songs as well as hymns like ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee.’

To honor Titanic’s musicians, the Musical Mutual Protective Union (MMPU) in New York City appointed a committee to organize a concert aiding the families of the bandsmen on Titanic. As funds were raised, a plan was originated to create a more permanent tribute to the orchestra’s heroism - a bronze tablet designed by German sculptor, Albert Weinert. The plaque was completed in October 1912, and later unveiled in a ceremony at MMPU’s headquarters on November 3, 1912.

Over time, the plaque was moved from its original location to a ball room in New York City, and eventually removed during renovations of that space. As the MMPU had disbanded years ago there was only one known photograph and no owner to contact, the plaque was thought to be lost. It wasn’t until Doug Turner, a resident of Naples, FL, discovered it in a scrap yard. Turner bought the plaque for $2 per pound, saving it from being melted down. It was in his research that he connected with Charles A. Haas and John P. Eaton, of theTitanic International Society, and discovered the plaque had a historical background directly associated withTitanic.

Turner, with the support of  Haas and Eaton, partnered with Premier Exhibitions, Inc. and Titanic The Experience in Orlando, FL to hold a special rededication ceremony unveiling the plaque just as it was done nearly 101 years ago – including the use of the British and American flags and the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra playing ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee.’ This newly discovered historical plaque will be on display at Titanic The Experience in Orlando, FL for at least six months, once again providing a tangible tribute to honor and remember the brave men of Titanic’s orchestra.

DIVE INTO TITANIC DISCOVERIES


Much like viewers marveled at Titanic’s luxury and magnificence prior to its sinking, many people today find just as much splendor in the discoveries surrounding the ‘Ship of Dreams.’ From artifacts, to pieces of the Ship itself, each discovery brings new insight into the passengers on board and the stories some never lived to tell.

After years of combing the deep sea, researchers finally discovered Titanic’s wreck site on September 1, 1985 approximately 13.2 miles from the last known but inaccurate position transmitted by the Ship’s crew as it was sinking. Two years later, in 1987 recovery of artifacts from the site commenced, and thus began the legalities of the rights to the wreck site which would later be granted to RMS Titanic, Inc. Since 1987, eight research expeditions have recovered over 5,500 artifacts from the Ship’s wreck site, conserved and put on display at Exhibitions around the world to share the stories of those on board in memoriam. 

The largest artifact to be recovered from Titanic’s wreck site is currently on display at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Weighing approximately 15 tons, the “Big Piece” is a section of the starboard side of the Ship’s hull that was recovered during the 1998 expedition. The 26 by 12 ft. artifact contains portholes from C Deck, in particular, cabins C-79 and C-81. Both of these cabins were unoccupied, but were in close proximity to the cabins of W.T. Stead (one of the most famous journalists in England during that time), and Henry B. Harris (a New York producer) and his wife, Irene. Mrs. Harris survived the sinking, but her husband and Mr. Stead did not.

A more recent discovery surfaced after being lost for over half a century. From first-class notables to members of the crew, many have honored those whose lives were lost as Titanic sank over 101 years ago by sharing their stories. A story that resonates is that of the eight brave musicians who played until the Ship sank, calming those on board with the sounds of popular and classical songs as well as hymns like ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee.’

To honor Titanic’s musicians, the Musical Mutual Protective Union (MMPU) in New York City appointed a committee to organize a concert aiding the families of the bandsmen on Titanic. As funds were raised, a plan was originated to create a more permanent tribute to the orchestra’s heroism - a bronze tablet designed by German sculptor, Albert Weinert. The plaque was completed in October 1912, and later unveiled in a ceremony at MMPU’s headquarters on November 3, 1912.

Over time, the plaque was moved from its original location to a ball room in New York City, and eventually removed during renovations of that space. As the MMPU had disbanded years ago there was only one known photograph and no owner to contact, the plaque was thought to be lost. It wasn’t until Doug Turner, a resident of Naples, FL, discovered it in a scrap yard. Turner bought the plaque for $2 per pound, saving it from being melted down. It was in his research that he connected with Charles A. Haas and John P. Eaton, of theTitanic International Society, and discovered the plaque had a historical background directly associated withTitanic.

Turner, with the support of  Haas and Eaton, partnered with Premier Exhibitions, Inc. and Titanic The Experience in Orlando, FL to hold a special rededication ceremony unveiling the plaque just as it was done nearly 101 years ago – including the use of the British and American flags and the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra playing ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee.’ This newly discovered historical plaque will be on display at Titanic The Experience in Orlando, FL for at least six months, once again providing a tangible tribute to honor and remember the brave men of Titanic’s orchestra.

Whether large or small, each discovery surrounding Titanic always cultivates a wide range of fascination and interest, and with every new discovery comes a new insight into one of history’s most recognized ship wrecks. These discoveries contribute to the never-ending legacy of those whose lives were lost at sea, the heroes surrounding that tragic event, and to all of their descendants living today.

Join P H Nargeolet on 09/01/2013 from 2-3pm ET on Twitter Chat to commerorate the discovery of the wreck site of Titanic
Follow us on Twitter: @RMS_Titanic_Inc and join the conversation using the hashtag #TitanicDiscovery

Christening of Ships – From Titanic to Today…

Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck

In her reported last solo public appearance before she gives birth, the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, christened a new cruise ship on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England – where Titanic departed for her doomed maiden voyage 101 years ago.

The appearance included a ribbon cutting ceremony ending with the breaking of a four gallon bottle of Moët and Chandon champagne against the ship’s hull. Catherine was also named the official godmother of the new ship, Royal Princess, a tradition dating back to an earlier nautical era.

Although christening was relatively popular at the time Titanic set sail, the White Star Line traditionally did not conduct such a ceremony. Adhering to this tradition was at the discretion of the owners, and although there was a gathering of dignitaries and a luncheon banquet afterwards, there was no particular ceremony. Titanic’slaunch took just over a minute and was admired by a crowd of 100,000.

In Titanic's era, the christening invariably was a lady called a Sponsor or Patroness. In 1912, "Godmother" was term used for the woman that pledges to oversee the religious education of a child at baptism, and who will take care of the child if he/she is orphaned. It wasn’t until later that the term was used for a ship’s christening. Typically, the sponsor is the wife or daughter of the Line's CEO, the Builder's CEO, or a local dignitary.

The breaking of champagne bottles changed over the years… In the Edwardian era, it tended to be a bottle on the end of a rope which could be dangerous – workmen had been injured or killed from falling glass. This was resolved by encasing the bottle in a silk mesh bag. Many sponsors really didn't have the strength to swing the bottle hard enough to hit the ship, and to miss was the sign of bad luck to come.

The most famous near miss was at the launch of the German Liner Bismarck in 1914 (she would have beenTitanic's main rival had she not sunk). The ship was named for the famous Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck and was launched by Bismarck's granddaughter Hannah, who swung and missed. With the liner receding down the ways, the Kaiser took the bottle and threw it against the hull, which was all the more amazing since he was paralyzed in his left arm.

Interesting to note that years later, Hannah took her life into her own hands when Hitler invited her to christen the battleship Bismarck. She replied that she had already had the honor of naming a ship at the request of His Majesty the Kaiser, and saw no reason to repeat herself.

AN EDWARDIAN LOVE AFFAIR WITH SAPPHIRES AND DIAMONDS

An Edwardian Love Affair with Sapphires and Diamonds

The gilded age of the Edwardian era is characterized by decadence and luxury, and this clearly extended to the jewelry that women of that time wore as a display of their social status. Engagement and wedding rings were no exception, and the relatively new invention of electricity allowed the jewelry to sparkle and shine when worn inside like never before. Women traveling in first class on Titanic took the opportunity to showcase their wealth and jewels during dinners in the first-class dining rooms on board the Ship. Styles were light and delicate but the popularity of expensive gems such as diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies led to more elaborate and sophisticated designs.

While the tradition of presenting engagement rings as a symbol of intended betrothal is one that dates back to the ancient Greeks, the more modern practice began in the medieval period when the Catholic church instituted a mandatory engagement period before marriage. A sapphire was a commonly used precious stone as it represented romantic love, truth and commitment.

In Britain, the use of sapphires in engagement rings became even more popular when soon to be Prince Consort Albert presented Queen Victoria a sapphire and diamond ring the day before they were married. The use of sapphires in royal engagement rings was then reestablished nearly 141 years later when Prince Charles gave a similar style ring to Lady Diana, which of course was recently given to Catherine Middleton by Prince William as her engagement ring, honoring his late mother. 

One of the remarkable rings featured in Jewels of Titanic, a diamond and sapphire ring, would have been considered very en vogue at the time Titanic set sail. The sapphire and diamond ring is comprised of 18 karat yellow gold and platinum with a natural blue sapphire surrounded by multiple small diamonds in pear-shaped petals. Although delicate and petite, this exquisite dinner ring may have graced the slim fingers of a young wife. It sparkles and commands attention – of the right sort, of course.

HONEYMOONERS ON TITANIC

Victor and Maria Peñasco y Castellana

 

Over the past 100 years, the love stories of the passengers on board Titanic have resonated and enchanted generation after generation. Some are well known, others have become just a footnote. But together they captivate and distinguish this maritime disaster from any other.   There were nearly a dozen couples on their honeymoon when Titanic began its journey across the Atlantic, including John and Nelle Snyder and Victor and Maria Peñasco y Castellana.  From different parts of the world, but both deeply in love, their stories are but just a sample of the heroics and difficult decisions that transpired between couples on that fateful night.

Fabulously wealthy and deeply in love, Victor Peñasco y Castellana, 24, and his bride of just over a year, Maria, 22, enchanted everyone they met aboard Titanic. Victor was a dashing, well-dressed young man who had inherited vast fortunes from both his father and grandfather.  Maria was a breathtaking beauty who seemed quite comfortable in the latest fashions, adorned with thousands of dollars of jewels the couple had bought while on a whirlwind honeymoon across Europe.  Soon they would be returning home to Madrid, where a fabulous apartment—three stories high with 44 terraces—was nearing completion.  In early April 1912 the couple was in Paris, where they made the last-minute decision to end their honeymoon with a trip to New York on the world’s newest and most luxurious liner. In an effort to conceal their trip from Victor’s superstitious mother—who had warned the newlyweds that an ocean voyage would bring bad luck—the couple left Victor’s butler Eulogio in Paris, where he would send pre-written postcards weekly to Victor’s mother so that she would be unaware of the trip and not worry about them.

Victor and Maria had just returned to their cabin and when they felt the collision Victor rushed out to see what had happened. When he returned, he told Maria to dress at once. Victor, taking no chances, quickly secured a place for Maria and her maid in Lifeboat 8. They were rescued hours later by the Carpathia. Victor, however, perished in the disaster, and his body was never recovered. Meanwhile Victor’s mother, still receiving postcards from Paris, had no idea her son had died. Eventually his mother, Purificacion, found out through a story in the Madrid newspapers—but the story of the Peñaso’s had not yet ended. Under Spanish law, a person could not be officially deceased until 20 years had passed if no body could be produced. This would keep Maria from inheriting her husband’s fortune. And so a plot was hatched— Purificacion, a wealthy woman in her own right—bribed officials to create a death certificate for Victor and have him “buried” in Halifax, Canada. Maria was able to inherit Victor’s fortune and, after spending six years mourning the loss of her beloved husband, she married Baron de Rio Tovia. She had three children while living the life of a wealthy Madrid matron—the life she had once envisioned living with Victor.

John and Nelle Snyder

Nelle Stevenson married John Pillsbury Snyder, grandson of the Pillsbury Company’s founder, in January of 1912. The young couple soon set out on a three-month tour of Europe. For the Snyders—John, 24, and Nelle, 23—the journey as first-class passengers on Titanic was the finale to their honeymoon and, surprisingly, their recent marriage probably saved their lives. As the Ship was sinking, some of the crew allowed newlyweds to board the lifeboats, along with women and children. The Snyders climbed into Lifeboat 7, the first to launch, and both survived. John and Nelle returned to the Twin Cities, where John owned a garage and automotive company on South 10th Street in Minneapolis. They settled into a recently-purchased home on Lookout Point and had three children.  In addition to his automobile businesses, John was vice president of the Millers and Traders State Bank, served in World War I, and was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1927 to 1929. He died in 1959 at the age of 71 while playing golf on the course at Woodhill Country Club. Nelle lived to the age of 93. The couple is buried in Minneapolis’ Lakewood Cemetery.

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