Although it happened 100 years ago, the sinking of the "unsinkable" RMS Titanic continues to fascinate people all around the world. The appetite for the story has been fed by many books, movies, TV shows and documentaries chronicling the tragedy.
A quick Google search shows the surprising wealth of information about the liner, its passengers/crew and the circumstances that led to the death of 1,500 people in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912. One website in particular, Encyclopedia Titanica, indexes information by place and reveals two local families connected to the disaster.
Stephen and Annie Holds were a British couple who immigrated to Sacramento. They were returning from an extended family visit in Cornwall, Wales. When the ship hit the iceberg Annie escaped on a lifeboat. Stephen did not. Annie returned to Sacramento and lived there for a few more years before moving back to Wales permanently.
Another victim was Herman Klaber, a Portland hops merchant returning from a long business trip in Europe. Waiting at home was his wife Gertrude, daughter of prominent Sacramento merchant Sam Kinsberg. Gertrude had urged Herman not to sail on the Titanic, it being on its maiden voyage. After the disaster, Gertrude and her young daughter lived in Sacramento for a time before moving to San Francisco.
The Davis Enterprise recently profiled Joan Randall, whose mother, grandparents, great aunt and uncle were steerage passengers on that fateful voyage. Only her grandparents and mother (age 4) survived. Randall has been the family's Titanic historian since her mom died in 1992. She has collected memorabilia and written on the subject, and she'll speak at the DMTC Performing Arts Center in Davis on April 25 after she returns from the 100th Anniversary Memorial Cruise. You can also hear Randall interviewed on the KXJZ Insight program.
While we're on the subject, check out The Bee's 100th anniversary Titanic photo gallery. It's filled with factoids and interesting images.
IMAGE CREDIT: April 15, 1912 front page of The Sacramento Bee. (Click on image for a bigger view.)