Thursday, April 14, 2005

True Titanic Tales: Mr. & Mrs. Straus

Mr. Isidor Straus was an elderly gentleman. The former Congressman, advisor to the President of the United States, part owner of Macy's, and philanthopist was returning from a vacation in the French Riviera with his wife, Ida.

As the Titanic was sinking, Mr. and Mrs. Straus were strolling on the boat deck. As Second Officer Lightoller was just finishing loading boat 8 and about ready to lower away, the Straus' walked by. Ida started climbing in, but then changed her mind, and said to her husband the words for which she is now famous for, "We have been living together for many years; where you go, I go."

Others nearby tried to change her mind, but she stayed firm. Hugh Woolner, one of the passengers trying to persuade her to get into the lifeboat, turned to Mr. Straus and said, "I'm sure no one would object to an old gentleman like yourself getting in."

"I will not go before the other men" was Isidor's response, and so it was decided. Ida stayed with her husband until the end. She gave her warm coat to her maid as she stepped into the lifeboat, and then turned back to her husband, and the deck of the Titanic.

It is said they sat down in deck chairs to await the end. Neither one survived. His body was found by the Mackay-Bennett and buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York. Her body was never recovered.

Special thanks to Encyclopedia Titanica, and Unsinkable: The Full Story Of The RMS Titanic by Daniel Allen Butler for helping me fill in all the facts.
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