*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.
Before there was social media, most individuals received their information from newspapers. Since newspapers have been around, they have provided society information on local, national, and international events. For example, look at the front-page of the Saturday Blade in Chicago, Illinois: the vibrant colors and illustrations but it is speaking about the Titanic ship disaster. The Saturday Blade began in 1887 and caught the attention of readers because of their illustrations; by 1892, it “… had the largest circulation of any weekly newspaper in the United States” (Wikipedia, 2017).
Picture it: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Titanic, 1997. Most people know about highly successful 1997 film of the ill-fated voyage of the RMS Titanic, hitting an iceberg in-route from Southampton, England to New York City, on April 15, 1912. Thomas Andrews designed the Titanic and construction began on March 31, 1909 until completion on May 31, 1911. At the time, “… the Titanic was one of the largest and most opulent ships in the world” (Tikkanen, 2017).
More than 1,500 people perished, becoming one of the deadliest commercial maritime disasters in history. Due to the accident, major safety improvements came into effect after the sinking of the Titanic. This led to the creation of the International Conference for Safety of Life at Sea (requiring ships to have enough lifeboats for all of the passengers abroad, lifeboat drills, etc.) in 1913 and the International Ice Patrol (warning ships of icebergs in the North Atlantic Ocean) in 1914. The wreckage of the Titanic was not discovered until 1985 by Robert Ballard (Tikkanen, 2017).
Tikkanen, A. (2017 April 26). Titanic. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Titanic
Wikipedia (20 May 2017). William D. Boyce. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_D._Boyce