April 15, 2012, marked one hundred years since the sinking of the Titanic. This blog post continues our series about the ill fated ship and its connections to Mississippi. The series was written by Brandie Thomas of the MDAH Archives and Reference Services Division.

Jackson Daily News, April 16, 1912 (MDAH Collection)

Jackson Daily News, April 16, 1912 (MDAH Collection)

In April of 1912, the Titanic disaster dominated newspaper headlines around the country and the world, but it wasn’t the only newsworthy occurrence during this time. In fact, there was another big news event happening right here in Mississippi at the same time. During the spring of 1912, the Mississippi Valley region suffered a severe flood. Often overshadowed by the 1927 flood, the flood of 1912 killed 200 people and caused $45 million in damage.1

The newspaper image above shows how the Titanic and Mississippi River flood disasters received side-by-side coverage on the front page.

Other notable events of April 1912:

April 10 – The French ship Niagra struck ice on the way from Le Havre, France, to New York. The ship’s crew was able to repair the damage.

April 12 – Clara Barton, nurse and founder of the American Red Cross, died.

April 16 – Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel

April 17 – Julia Lathrop became the first woman to head a U.S. federal government agency. She was appointed by President Taft to direct the U.S. Children’s Bureau.

April 17 – Solar eclipse

April 20 – Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, died at the age of 64.

April 20 – Boston’s Fenway Park and Detroit’s Tiger Stadium both officially opened2

Mississippi River Flood of 1912, Cooper Postcard Collection. Call Number: PI/1992.0001, item 3125 (MDAH Collection)

Mississippi River Flood of 1912, Cooper Postcard Collection. Call Number: PI/1992.0001, item 3125 (MDAH Collection)


1 MDAH, “1903-1928: 1912,” Mississippi History Timeline, http://mdah.state.ms.us/timeline/zone/1912/.

2 List of events compiled using “Today in History for April 1912,” http://www.historyorb.com/date/1912/april, and “April 1912,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_1912.