Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Colorado Chronicles : Unsinkable

I'd bet dollars to donuts that if I mentioned the name Margaret Tobin, you'd say, "Who?". OK, how about Margaret Brown? Molly Brown? Still no idea? The Unsinkable Molly Brown? I knew that you'd recognize that one. And the goofy thing is that Margaret Tobin (maiden name) Brown was never even known as Molly, but as Maggie, during her lifetime, but Molly is the handle that made her world famous.So, what does Maggie Brown have to do with Colorado? Maggie Tobin and her brother moved to Leadville from Hanibal, Missouri when she was 19. She later met and married J.J. Brown. Mr. Brown made a killing in gold mining and he and Maggie used their good fortune to do wonderful things in Colorado, especially Denver, where the Browns lived. Wikipedia picks up the story from there : "In 1894, the Browns moved to Denver, Colorado, which gave the family more social opportunities. Margaret became a charter member of the Denver Woman's Club, whose mission was the improvement of women's lives through continuing education and philanthropy. In 1901, she was one of the first students to enroll at the Carnegie Institute [disambiguation needed] in New York. Adjusting to the trappings of a society lady, Brown became well-immersed in the arts and fluent in French, German, and Russian. In 1909 she ran for the U.S. Senate. Margaret assisted in the fundraising for Denver's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception which was completed in 1911. Margaret worked with Judge Lindsey to help destitute children and establish the United States' first juvenile court which helped form the basis of the modern U.S. juvenile courts system." Next question, "Where in the heck did the "Unsinkable Molly" come from? Again, we turn to Wikipedia : "Margaret boarded the passenger liner RMS Titanic as a first class passenger at Cherbourg, France. The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg. Margaret helped others board the lifeboats but was finally convinced to leave the ship in Lifeboat No. 6.[1] She would come to be regarded as a heroine for her efforts to get Lifeboat 6 to go back to look for survivors.[1] Molly Brown was dubbed "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" by historians because she became a hero of the night by helping in the ship's evacuation, taking an oar herself in her lifeboat and protesting for the lifeboat to go back to try and save more people." Molly's heroics were noted in the 1997 blockbuster movie, Titanic, and before that in 1960, Molly was memorialized the Broadway musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and in the 1964 film based on the musical. Margaret Tobin Brown, known as Molly to millions, unbeatable and unsinkable.

*Photo from wikipedia.org

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