"Women and Children First!" © wood engraving (ed. 40) image: 7 x 5 in. $100.00 (go to "Hi There" for purchase information)
The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank April 14, 1912. The accepted order for filling lifeboats when a ship is sinking is "Women and children first!". There is no maritime law to this affect, but social mores have a legal power of their own. Mr. William T. Sloper of New Haven, Connecticut was a first class passenger aboard the Titanic and managed to get into one of the first of too few lifeboats lowered. When the Carpathian arrived in New York with the survivors, he refused to give an interview to a group of reporters waiting at the pier. One of the rejected reporters wrote a story that Mr. Sloper dressed in women's clothing to gain access to the lifeboat. Sloper spent the rest of his life living down this myth. There were other stories about men and boys who dressed as women to sneak into the Titanic's lifeboats, but these stories were never proven during the inquiries that followed.

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