Survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912
1986 Interview of Titanic Sinking Survivor Ruth Blanchard (28 minutes)
Bio from Ruth Blanchard Obituary, 1/12/2012
Daughter of Allen Oliver Becker, missionary, and Nellie E. Baumgardner. She later married Daniel Blanchard but they divorced.
Blanchard was a second-class passenger on board the RMS Titanic. She boarded the ship at the age of twelve with her mother Nellie, brother Richard, and sister Marion on April 10, 1912 in Southampton, England. The family was traveling to Michigan to seek medical treatment for Ruth’s younger brother Richard, who had contracted a disease while the family was living in India. She was initially separated from her mother and siblings during the sinking of the Titanic after being placed in different lifeboats. She was reunited with her family on board the Carpathia and arrived in New York City on April 18. Following the disaster, she attended high school and college in the Midwest before marrying and beginning a high school teaching career in Kansas City, Missouri. In the early years following the sinking, she refused to talk about the disaster, even keeping secret from her own children the fact that she had been a passenger on board the Titanic. During her later years, she became one of the Titanic’s most recognizable and vocal public figures along with Eva Hart, granting press interviews, appearing in television documentaries, and attending conventions sponsored by the Titanic Historical Society. She became an outspoken critic of individuals and companies involved in salvage operations to recover artifacts from the shipwreck, stating that the site should remain untouched and preserved as a memorial and graveyard. In March 1990, she made her first sea voyage to Mexico since the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. She died in California a few months later at the age of 90. In accordance with her wishes, her ashes were scattered over the site of the Titanic. (bio by: Nils M. Solsvik, Jr.)