titanicEveryone knows that the dance band on the RMS Titanic continued to play as the ship sank into the icy waters. At first, this may have been in ignorance of, or to hide, immanent danger. Later, to help calm frightened passengers, or simply because the musicians had no hope of escaping and nothing else to do.

Turns out that gamers on the Titanic did the exact same thing.

According to news reports after the sinking (such as the Arizona Journal-Miner):

To allay the fears of women passengers, a group of men kept a card game going on the Titanic three-quarters of an hour after she struck, according to George Bradley, who was one of them. He said Henry B. Harris after seeing his wife safely in a boat came back to the game, and told him to keep up playing.

The orchestra struck up ragtime and played many other lively airs, and finally struck up “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” then, those in the game knew it was time to save themselves if they could.

Games played during this period include Bridge-Whist.