September 26

Archibald Butt

September 26, 1865 - Augusta

Three Georgians died on the Titanic. One of them was Archibald Butt.  He was born in Augusta on this day in 1865.

Archie Butt became a journalist for the Macon Telegraph. The Atlanta Constitution made him its Washington correspondent.  The U.S. State Department appointed him Secretary of the American Embassy in Mexico. He was there when the Spanish–American war began in 1898 and he came home to join the Army.  His work in the Philippines with the Quartermaster Department impressed President Theodore Roosevelt, who made Butt his personal military aide. President Taft kept him on in the same role.

As Taft and Roosevelt became political enemies in 1912, Butt escaped to Europe for a vacation. He booked return passage on the Titanic, and died when it struck an iceberg on April 14.

President Taft came to Augusta to dedicate the Butt Memorial Bridge on the second anniversary of the Titanic tragedy in 1914.  Spanning the Augusta Canal, it is the only Titanic memorial in Georgia and honors the man born on September 26, 1865, Today in Georgia History.