Archibald Willingham Butt was born in Augusta, Georgia on September 26, 1865. Butt was tall and distinguished looking , the stereotypical Southern gentleman. He had served as aide to Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard.
On the night of April 14th Major Butt had dined with Captain Smith at the Widener Dinner Party in the à la carte Restaurant. After dinner Butt and his friends retired to the Café Parisien a popular place for Titanic's First Class to meet and people watch. When the Titanic struck the iceberg at 11:40 p.m. Major Butt was informed by Captain Smith that the ship was doomed and that the lifeboats were being readied. Butt immediately sprang into action and became another officer on board the ship. He gave words of encouragement to the weeping women and children, and giving stern commands when needed to the slow and inefficient crew members.
Archibald Butt died that night and his remains were never recovered. Many stories regarding Butt's gallantry were printed in the press after the tragedy.
Isidor Straus was returning with his wife Ida, from a trip to the Riviera. He was a partner with Macy's Department Store in New York and had also been elected to Congress and was a friend of President Grover Cleveland.
While the lifeboats were being loaded with women, Ida, almost entered boat No. 8, but turned around, handed her necklace to her maid, Ellen Bird and stated that she was staying with her husband. "We have been living together for many years. Where you go, I go." Friends tried to convince her to change her mind, but she would not budge from her husband's side. One gentleman told Mr. Straus: "I'm sure nobody would object to an old gentleman like you getting in the boat." However, Mr. Straus was adamant. "I will not go before the other men," he said. Mrs. Straus put her arm around her husband and the two of them walked away from the boats.
This one heroic stance that Mrs. Straus took, ignited the nation in admiration for her selfless and loyal act.
Today, a memorial still exists to the Strauses. A reclining woman is the central figure of a fountain dedicated in their honor. The memorial is located at Broadway and West 106th Street in New York City.