Titanic

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US Inquiry

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|location = East Room of Waldorf-Astoria hotel
 
|location = East Room of Waldorf-Astoria hotel
 
|cause = Sinking of the ''Titanic''
 
|cause = Sinking of the ''Titanic''
|Preceded by = [[Sinking of the Titanic]]
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|Preceded by = Sinking of the Titanic
|Followed by = [[British Inquiry]]}}The '''United States Senate inquiry into the sinking of the RMS ''Titanic''' ''started on Friday, 19 April, 1912 in [[New York City|New York]]. It was an investigation into the [[sinking of the Titanic]], performed by politicians, looking for which person was responsible. Later the investigation moved to Washington, D.C., concluding on 25 May 1912 with a return visit to New York.
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|Followed by = British Inquiry}}The '''United States Senate inquiry into the sinking of the RMS ''Titanic''' ''started on Friday, 19 April, 1912 in [[New York City|New York]]. It was an investigation into the [[sinking of the Titanic]], performed by politicians, looking for which person was responsible. Later the investigation moved to Washington, D.C., concluding on 25 May 1912 with a return visit to New York.
   
 
There were a total of 18 days of official investigation. Smith and seven other senators questioned surviving passengers and crew, and those who had aided the rescue efforts. More than 80 witnesses gave testimony or deposited sworn affidavits. Subjects covered included the ice warnings received, the inadequate number of lifeboats, the handling of the ship and its speed, ''Titanic''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s distress calls, and the handling of the evacuation of the ship.
 
There were a total of 18 days of official investigation. Smith and seven other senators questioned surviving passengers and crew, and those who had aided the rescue efforts. More than 80 witnesses gave testimony or deposited sworn affidavits. Subjects covered included the ice warnings received, the inadequate number of lifeboats, the handling of the ship and its speed, ''Titanic''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s distress calls, and the handling of the evacuation of the ship.
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The presentation of the US report was accompanied by two speeches, one from Smith and one from Senator Isidor Rayner (Democrat, Maryland).<ref name="SenateReport">{{cite web|url=http://www.senate.gov/reference/reference_item/titanic.htm|title=Titanic Disaster Hearings: The Official Transcripts of the 1912 Senate Investigation|publisher=United States Senate|accessdate=15 April 2012}}</ref> Towards the end of his speech, Smith declared:
 
The presentation of the US report was accompanied by two speeches, one from Smith and one from Senator Isidor Rayner (Democrat, Maryland).<ref name="SenateReport">{{cite web|url=http://www.senate.gov/reference/reference_item/titanic.htm|title=Titanic Disaster Hearings: The Official Transcripts of the 1912 Senate Investigation|publisher=United States Senate|accessdate=15 April 2012}}</ref> Towards the end of his speech, Smith declared:
 
 
<blockquote>The calamity through which we have just passed has left traces of sorrow everywhere; hearts have been broken and deep anguish unexpressed; art will typify with master hand its lavish contribution to the sea; soldiers of state and masters of trade will receive the homage which is their honest due; hills will be cleft in search of marble white enough to symbolize these heroic deeds, and, where kinship is the only tie that binds the lowly to the humble home bereft of son or mother or father, little groups of kinsfolk will recount, around the kitchen fire, the traits of human sympathy in those who went down with the ship. These are choice pictures in the treasure house of the affections, but even these will sometime fade; the sea is the place permanently to honor our dead; this should be the occasion for a new birth of vigilance, and future generations must accord to this event a crowning motive for better things.<ref name="TIPspeech1">{{cite web|url=http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/USReport/AmInqRepSmith01.php|title=Speech of Senator William Alden Smith|publisher=Titanic Inquiry Project|accessdate=15 April 2012}}</ref></blockquote>
 
<blockquote>The calamity through which we have just passed has left traces of sorrow everywhere; hearts have been broken and deep anguish unexpressed; art will typify with master hand its lavish contribution to the sea; soldiers of state and masters of trade will receive the homage which is their honest due; hills will be cleft in search of marble white enough to symbolize these heroic deeds, and, where kinship is the only tie that binds the lowly to the humble home bereft of son or mother or father, little groups of kinsfolk will recount, around the kitchen fire, the traits of human sympathy in those who went down with the ship. These are choice pictures in the treasure house of the affections, but even these will sometime fade; the sea is the place permanently to honor our dead; this should be the occasion for a new birth of vigilance, and future generations must accord to this event a crowning motive for better things.<ref name="TIPspeech1">{{cite web|url=http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/USReport/AmInqRepSmith01.php|title=Speech of Senator William Alden Smith|publisher=Titanic Inquiry Project|accessdate=15 April 2012}}</ref></blockquote>
 
 
Rayner's closing words drew applause from the assembled Senators:
 
Rayner's closing words drew applause from the assembled Senators:
 
 
<blockquote>The sounds of that awe-inspiring requiem that vibrated o'er the ocean have been drowned in the waters of the deep, the instruments that gave them birth are silenced as the harps were silenced on the willow tree, but if the melody that was rehearsed could only reverberate through this land "Nearer, My God, to Thee," and its echoes could be heard in these halls of legislation, and at every place where our rulers and representatives pass judgment and enact and administer laws, and at every home and fireside, from the mansions of the rich to the huts and hovels of the poor, and if we could be made to feel that there is a divine law of obedience and of adjustment, and of compensation that should demand our allegiance, far above the laws that we formulate in this presence, then, from the gloom of these fearful hours we shall pass into the dawn of a higher service and of a better day, and then, Mr. President, the lives that went down upon this fated night did not go down in vain.<ref name="TIPspeech2">{{cite web|url=http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/USReport/AmInqRepRaynor01.php|title=Speech of Senator Isidor Rayner|publisher=Titanic Inquiry Project|accessdate=15 April 2012}}</ref></blockquote>
 
<blockquote>The sounds of that awe-inspiring requiem that vibrated o'er the ocean have been drowned in the waters of the deep, the instruments that gave them birth are silenced as the harps were silenced on the willow tree, but if the melody that was rehearsed could only reverberate through this land "Nearer, My God, to Thee," and its echoes could be heard in these halls of legislation, and at every place where our rulers and representatives pass judgment and enact and administer laws, and at every home and fireside, from the mansions of the rich to the huts and hovels of the poor, and if we could be made to feel that there is a divine law of obedience and of adjustment, and of compensation that should demand our allegiance, far above the laws that we formulate in this presence, then, from the gloom of these fearful hours we shall pass into the dawn of a higher service and of a better day, and then, Mr. President, the lives that went down upon this fated night did not go down in vain.<ref name="TIPspeech2">{{cite web|url=http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/USReport/AmInqRepRaynor01.php|title=Speech of Senator Isidor Rayner|publisher=Titanic Inquiry Project|accessdate=15 April 2012}}</ref></blockquote>
 
 
Smith proposed three pieces of legislation: a joint resolution with the House of Representatives to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Captain Rostron of the ''Carpathia''; a bill to re-evaluate existing maritime legislation; and another joint resolution to establish a commission to enquire into the laws and regulations on the construction and equipment of maritime vessels.{{sfn|Eaton|Haas|1994|p = 223}} The report's recommendations on the regulation of wireless telegraphy were implemented in the form of the Radio Act of 1912, which mandated that all radio stations in the US be licensed by the federal government, as well as mandating that seagoing vessels continuously monitor distress frequencies. The existing Wireless Ship Act of 1910 was also amended to add new regulations governing how wireless telegraphy aboard ships was to be managed.{{sfn|Medoff|Kaye|2010|p = 231}}
 
Smith proposed three pieces of legislation: a joint resolution with the House of Representatives to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Captain Rostron of the ''Carpathia''; a bill to re-evaluate existing maritime legislation; and another joint resolution to establish a commission to enquire into the laws and regulations on the construction and equipment of maritime vessels.{{sfn|Eaton|Haas|1994|p = 223}} The report's recommendations on the regulation of wireless telegraphy were implemented in the form of the Radio Act of 1912, which mandated that all radio stations in the US be licensed by the federal government, as well as mandating that seagoing vessels continuously monitor distress frequencies. The existing Wireless Ship Act of 1910 was also amended to add new regulations governing how wireless telegraphy aboard ships was to be managed.{{sfn|Medoff|Kaye|2010|p = 231}}
 
 
 
   
 
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