Tahlequah Daily Press

CNHI Special Projects

April 8, 2012

Sisters break silence about family connection to Titanic

Sisters Valerie Anewalt and Orian Greene are distinctive descendants of the Titanic. Two family members survived and two died aboard the ocean liner that sank off the coast of Newfoundland 100 years ago.

Clara Hays, their great-grandmother, survived the disaster but her husband, Charles Hays, a railroad executive, did not.

Orian Davidson, their great aunt, also survived but her husband, Thornton Davidson, an investment banker, went down with the ship when it sank into the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912.

During a recent visit to the Titanic Museum in Branson, Mo., Anewalt and Greene said only their closest friends knew about their tie to the Titanic as it was something the family did not talk about -- not even with their great aunt who lived to be 96.

That changed when the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. interviewed descendants of the Canadian passengers at the Titanic Museum for a documentary on the 100th anniversary of the disaster. Their great-grandparents lived in Montreal at the time of the disaster, though both were Americans.

The sisters said they know from family conversation, and from what they have read, that there was public resentment of first-class passengers who survived on lifeboats.

Greene, 74, of Arlington, Mass., said many survivors lived with "an onus that they should not have survived. But it raises the question in all of us: What would have I done? How would I have handled it?"

Greene said their great-grandfather was "convinced that it would take several hours (for the Titanic to sink) and maybe not sink at all." It took less than three hours.

"How much courage did he have to not get in a lifeboat?" Greene asked. "He thought the ship would survive. That¹s what he told his wife and daughters when they got in the boat in the tradition of women and children first."

Text Only
CNHI Special Projects
Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Stocks