William H. Taft's Presidency

Start Free Trial

How did William Howard Taft react to the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Like most people, President Taft was shocked and saddened by the sinking of the Titanic. What made this tragedy all the more painful to him was the fact that his close personal friend and military aide, Archibald Butt, was one of the 1,500 passengers who died on that terrible...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Like most people, President Taft was shocked and saddened by the sinking of the Titanic. What made this tragedy all the more painful to him was the fact that his close personal friend and military aide, Archibald Butt, was one of the 1,500 passengers who died on that terrible night in the Atlantic.

To this day, Butt's body has never been recovered, but a memorial service was held at his family home, at which President Taft was one of the mourners. In a heartfelt speech, Taft told the assembled throng that "Archie," as he always called him, was so close to him that he was like a son or a brother. At a second memorial service for Butt in Washington D.C., Taft delivered another fulsome eulogy to his fallen friend. This time, he was so utterly grief-stricken, so overcome by emotion, that he was unable to continue.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team