Crazy so many people thought the Titanic was just a movie. Well, it might not have been real to them for the longest time, but the poor people who both died in and survived her sinking knew well and good that the Titanic was a real event; ditto Senator Smith and Lord Mersey.
Surely the statistics about those who didn't know the Titanic was a real historical event should be an indictment on the education system. This news is sad but hardly surprising, one doesn't have to look too far to find similar instances - I once came across a bookstore owner who had never even heard of the Lusitania, let alone thought it was or wasn't a historical event.
>>Surely the statistics about those who didn't know the Titanic was a real historical event should be an indictment on the education system.<<
You're right. It is.
In fairness, the Titanic itself wasn't all that massively important however, it's cultural impact has taken on a life of it's own which merits serious study in it's own right.
In sum, if one is going to use the Titanic as a metephore for anything, it behooves us to know the reality behind the myth. Unfortunately, this is an area where the education systems both public and private come up way short.
At a school I attended in Hong Kong there was a section of the curriculum devoted to the Titanic - they even included it in every year book as the contribution of that year group. Unfortunately I joined in a later year so never got first hand experience of those classes.
I believe it is an important part of our history, not least because of the changes it brought about, and so should be taught more widely.
It is extremely important to learn from the past and that is why history lessons should be a non-negotiable part of any school curriculums. Those who aren't taught about these sorts of events, as the next generation to run the show, are likely to repeat the same mistakes. Unfortunately, as much as I liked my school, history was never part of the essential education curriculum - nor, for that matter, was it ever even offered as an optional class!
I was surprised to see how many people didn't know the Titanic was real, too.
I tried to remember when and how I learned about the Titanic, and I couldn't remember*; but I knew she was real, and same goes for the Lusitania. As a child, I was a true history fan (I'm still one; I hope to die one!), and I used to pass the time during history lessons at school reading and re-reading the textbook through.
* My parents had an album of the Nautilus Pompilius band - it was very popular in the 1980s and early 1990s, the album was called Titanic, and it contained a song of the same name. Yes, it was about our Titanic, and it might well be the first time I heard the name of the ship. I'm not sure, though. There are lots of things you just 'have always known'. You know.