Washington D.C. played an important role in the Titanic story, hosting 16 days of hearings with a total number of 74 witnesses drawn from survivors of the sinking and maritime and telegraphy experts attending the hearings in the new caucus room in the Russell Senate Office Building. Previously, two days of hearings had been held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, the American Inquiry, set up by Senator William Alden Smith, before the inquiry moved on to Washington D.C.
With the arrival of the Titanic's survivors in New York the US Senator William Alden Smith was agitating to investigate the disaster. He feared that important witnesses of the sinking of the Titanic, including White Star Line chairman Joseph Bruce Ismay, would return to England within days of their arrival. Receiving no presidential interest, instead Senator Smith established the terms of reference for a subcommittee to lead the inquiry, receiving approval from the US Senate on 17 April.
Witnesses were subpoenaed and the next day the first witnesses appeared at a hastily convened in the surroundings of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Seeking a more suitable venue the inquiry reconvened to Washington D.C. after two days. The first Washington hearings began on Monday 22 April 1912 in the Russell Senate Office Building, concluding on 25 May 1912. Across the hearings in New York and Washington a total of 82 witnesses were called. The subcommittee issued its report on 28 May 1912.
Elsewhere within official circles in Washington D.C. the Titanic disaster was keenly felt. First-class passenger Archibald Butt lived and worked in Washington D.C. where he served as military aide to President Theodore Roosevelt and President William Howard Taft. Archibald Butt died in the sinking of the Titanic. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His life is commemorated by a number of memorials in Washington D.C., including a shared memorial to his memory and that of his close friend, artist Francis Davis Millet who also died in the sinking. Archibald Butt is remembered by a number of memorials in Washington D.C., including one shared with his friend Francis David Millet who was also lost in the sinking. Also Washington D.C., on the river front, is the Women of America memorial dedicated to the men lost aboard the Titanic.
Use the map controls to locate and view all the memorials listed in Washington, D.C..
Memorials are shown on the map and listed in order northern-most memorials first, listed east to west, southern-most memorials last. Pan the map left, right, up and down using your mouse cursor or touch device; click or touch the zoom controls to narrow and widen your search area. Click or touch to select any of the markers to learn more about each Titanic memorial. Sites close to each other may have their markers clustered together, so increase the zoom to see each individual map marker.