Fullerton library pays tribute to Titanic’s 100th anniversary

With the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic just days away, Saturday, the Fullerton Public Library hosted a special presentation Monday in commemoration of history’s most famous ship.

Anibal Ortiz / Daily Titan

Attendees sat in the Community Center of the Fullerton Main Library as a short documentary on the famed ship began.
Echoes of Titanic told the stories of some survivors and presented actual footage of the ship before it departed for its intended destination, New York City.
Days after the ship sank, misinformation clouded what really happened on that cold night in April. Some newspapers reported that all Titanic passengers were safe and had been transferred into lifeboats. The rate of speed at which the ship was moving was seen as the biggest factor as to why the “unsinkable ship” sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic.
Dennis Skiles, a Fullerton resident, was impressed with the documentary and feels that interest in the Titanic just keeps on growing.
“I thought the film itself was very informative,” said Skiles. “There have been many movies on the Titanic, been many songs written about the Titanic. Once they had realized that it had sunk, from then on, the last 100 years, there’s always new things coming out about the Titanic … Especially this year since it’s the 100-year anniversary.”
Ron Kustos, an Anaheim resident, said he learned a lot from Echoes of Titanic and was impressed with the visuals used.
“I never knew about any of the survivors that were in this film. This movie, I didn’t even know (it) existed,” said Kustos. “Very great footage in it … The old footage was just awesome.”
Local Titanic aficionado, Michael Green, took the podium once the documentary finished. He spoke on his friendship with survivor Edwina Troutt. Green shared how the character of Rose in the James Cameron blockbuster Titanic was a compilation of about three women aboard the ship. Troutt was one of those women.
“I never knew about any of the survivors that were in this film. This movie, I didn’t even know (it) existed,” said Kustos. “Very great footage in it … The old footage was just awesome.”
Local Titanic aficionado, Michael Green, took the podium once the documentary finished. He spoke on his friendship with survivor Edwina Troutt. Green shared how the character of Rose in the James Cameron blockbuster Titanic was a compilation of about three women aboard the ship. Troutt was one of those women.
“In watching the movie, I could see in Rose … Edwina,” said Green as he spoke to the crowd. “She comes through this tragedy, she moves to Southern California and then she lives this wonderful, wonderful life … I could totally believe Edwina was this person.”
Green met Troutt in 1983 after he read an article about her in the Los Angeles Times. He contacted her and they became friends until Troutt died the next year at the age of 100.
“There in the page of the (Los Angeles) Times I read about Edwina and how she had saved a baby from the sinking Titanic. I couldn’t believe that this woman was still alive,” he said.
Green recounted how he was able to reunite Troutt with the family of a 3-month-old infant she rescued when the child was put into her arms by its father as Troutt descended from the ship in a lifeboat.
Eleven relatives of the child died in the shipwreck, excluding its mother, Thelma Thomas, who was separated from her family amid the chaos, but survived aboard another lifeboat. She was reunited with her baby while aboard the rescue ship RMS Carpathia.
While Troutt and Thomas never met while on board the Carpathia, they did finally meet 59 years later in 1971 on a television show.
Skiles was highly impressed with Green’s ability to bring together Troutt with the family of Thomas.
“He was like the bridge between those people and actually got them in contact many years later. It was done in a very nice manner as well,” he said.
An exhibit of items related to the Titanic will be displayed throughout April in the Main Library’s Conference Wing.

About Angel Mendoza

Angel Mendoza was a previous sports editor at the Daily Titan, and graduated as a journalism major with an emphasis on print. Mendoza enjoys watching most sports but basketball is his passion. When the Lakers lose, it’s a bad day. His dream job is to work for the Los Angeles Times or Sports Illustrated.