Weatherford Democrat

Community News Network

April 12, 2012

Language was a barrier for immigrant on sinking Titanic

ASHTABULA, Ohio — Imagine you’re 18, traveling alone on the Titanic and don’t speak a word of English. A few minutes before midnight on April 14, 1912, the ocean liner shudders as it slams into an iceberg.

That’s what happened to Anna Sofia (Turja) Lundi, who left her home in Finland for a new life in Ashtabula, Ohio. She boarded the Titanic in Southampton, England, and was among 2,230 people on board when it sank in the North Alantic. And one of only 714 to survive.

Lundi, who died in 1982, told family members she was going to bed in the third-class section when the ship struck the iceberg three days into its maiden voyage.

According to her grandson, John Rudolph, 59, of Los Angeles, a crewman pounded on her cabin door, hollering emergency orders she didn’t understand because they were in English. Then a Finnish-speaking passenger explained the ship was in distress and she should put on her life jacket and the warmest clothes possible.

To make this point, when Rudolph’s mother, Ethel, one of Lundi’s children, would talk to clubs and schoolchildren about the Titanic, she would start the presentation speaking Finnish. Then she would say, “That’s how my mother felt on the Titanic. All of the instructions were in English.”

At first, relatives said, Lundi and a group of Finnish immigrant passengers went to the ship’s concert hall and listened to the band for a while, but then panic set in.

“People were everywhere. Many were shouting,” she said in a 1962 Star Beacon interview. “An older woman in our cabin, who had been my unofficial guardian, since I was 18 years old, panicked when she got up on deck. She urged me to a higher deck where it is safer. But I decided to go where the people were and went back down.”

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results