Reporting Steve Miller
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Today marks 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic.
The local papers of the day were full of the news when the ocean liner sank on its maiden voyage, killing 1,514 passengers.
The night before the Titanic sank, an 18-year-old girl named Vivian Forsander was on board the ship, having a nightmare.
The nightmare was about the Titanic sinking. She survived the disaster, eventually moving to Chicago.
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Vivian Forsander had been traveling with another woman and a child, but they died in the sinking. Forsander was rescued by the Carpathia, which picked up more than 700 survivors from the Titanic.
Another young woman, Anna Kelly, was 17 and she was on her way to Chicago from Ireland to be with her sisters in Old Town, at 303 W. Eugenie St.
She told the Chicago Record-Herald that she was the last woman to leave the Titanic:
“We were lowered and the crew started pulling the lifeboat away. It seemed scarcely two minutes later when I saw two other boats following us. I could just see them dimly, when the lights on the ship suddenly went out: Then I saw the two boats pulled back in their wake. The oarsmen struggled hard to pull them away, but were too late. The two boats went down in the suction of the Titanic as it went to the bottom.”
Among those on board the Titanic – in first class – was William Thomas Stead, a muckraking journalist from London who actually had spent a year in Chicago in 1893 and wrote “IF CHRIST CAME TO CHICAGO,” called “an inflammatory exposé of Chicago’s political corruption and the underground economy.”
“(Murderers) red-handed have lodged there, maniacs have battered their heads against the iron gates, for there is no strait waistcoat or padded cell in Harrison Street; women shriek and wail in hysterics, and, saddest of all, little urchins of ten and twelve who have been run in for some juvenile delinquency have found the police cell the nursery cradle of the jail.”
One account of the Titanic sinking says William Stead “sat quietly reading a book in the First Class Smoking Room” and died when the ship went down.