Love when this pops up on my dash
Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche was born in Cap Haitien, Haiti, in 1886. At the age of 15, he left Haiti and travelled to Beauvais, France, to study engineering in high school. While visiting nearby Villejuif, Joseph met his future wife, Juliette. After Joseph received his degree, they were married. Their daughter Simonne was born in1909, and a second daughter, Louise was born prematurely in 1910, and suffered medical problems. Because of racial discrimination it prevented Joseph from obtaining a high-paying job in France. The family needed more money to pay for their youngest daughters medical bills so Joseph planned to return to Haiti in 1913, to find a better-paying engineering job. However, in March of 1912 Juliette discovered that she was pregnant, so the family decided to leave for Haiti before her pregnancy became too far advanced. For a welcome present Joseph’s mother in Haiti bought them steamship tickets on the La France, but the line’s strict policy regarding children caused them to transfer their booking to the Titanic’s second class. Racism towards the couple because of their interracial marriage was rampant aboard the ship, especially among the crew members. After the Titanic struck an iceberg historians agree that Laroche was calm and heroic. As the ship sank, Joseph stuffed his coat packets with money and jewelry and took his pregnant wife and children up to the boat deck and managed to get them into the lifeboat. He wrapped the coat around his wife, and his last words were: “Here, take this, you are going to need it. I’ll get another boat. God be with you. I’ll see you in New York.” Joseph Laroche died in the sinking and was the only passenger of black descent (besides his daughters) on the Titanic. His body was never found.
Interesting fact: When Juliette returned to Paris with her daughters she gave birth to a son, Joseph Lemercier Laroche. The White Star Line, the company that owned the Titanic, was later forced to issue a public apology for the derogatory statements made by the crew. When Louise Laroche died on January 28, 1998, at the age of 87 it left only seven remaining survivors of the Titanic.