Did you know that Helen Churchill Candee was born today in 1858? When her husband abandoned their family, Helen started to write articles for magazines and newspapers. She wrote about etiquette, travel, interior design, art, culture, child care, education, and women’s rights. In 1912, Helen was in Europe completing research for a book. She received a telegram that one of her children had been injured in an accident and booked immediate passage back to America. The name of the ship was the RMS Titanic. While she broke her ankle in the evacuation, she did survive and wrote one of the first detailed accounts of that disaster.
We hope that you write vividly today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
After gaining prominence as a writer, Helen Churchill Candee moved to Washington DC. She eventually became one of the first professional interior decorators. Some of her clients include Henry Stimson and President Theodore Roosevelt.
Aside from articles to magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, The Ladies’ Home Journal, and Scribner’s, Helen Churchill Candee also wrote 8 books about decorative arts, travelogues, and a novel. She received honors from the French government and the King of Cambodia for her travel books, Angkor the Magnificent (1924) and New Journeys in Old Asia (1927).
Evacuating passengers were not allowed to bring baggage on the lifeboats. Helen Churchill Candee gave two of her most precious things, a ivory cameo of her mother and a flask, to a male friend who had pockets for safekeeping. Unfortunately, her friend did not survive, but her mementos were recovered from his body. In 2006 these items were sold at auction; $80,000 for the locket and $40,000 for the flask.
Letters and a manuscript written by Helen Candee may have inspired James Cameron’s movie, Titanic.
Helen Churchill Candee was on Lifeboat 6, along with Margaret Brown, also known as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown”.
Despite her injuries, in 1913 Helen Churchill Candee joined other suffragists for a “Votes for Women” parade in Washington DC.