Michigan State University

April 15, 1912 : Dowagiac Couple Enter First Titanic Lifeboat

Jon Harrison

Sinking of Titanic from wikipedia

At the suggestion of the crew, the newlyweds Helen and Dickinson Bishop (Helen was pregnant) were put in the first lifeboat to be lowered into the water from the Titanic. Their lifeboat had 28 people, although it could carry twice that number. While "the officers implored people to get aboard," Dickinson Bishop said, many thought the lifeboats were more dangerous than the ship. Millionaire John Jacob Astor and his wife for example declined a spot on the first lifeboat. By the time they realized the boat was really sinking, only Mrs. Astor was allowed on a lifeboat.

The Bishops were among the 706 survivors; 1517 passengers and crew were not.

For the full article, see Julie Mack, "Titanic tale: Southwest Michigan newlyweds survived ship's sinking but did not live happily ever after", MLive, April 7, 2012.

See Dowagiac Daily News, May 10, 1912, posted in Encyclopedia Titanica.

Kathleen Lavey, "Michigan has Titanic ties, some quite sad", Lansing State Journal, April 14, 2016

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