We all know what happened after Jack drew Rose like one of his French girls, but it turns out there may have been a real-life couple on board the Titanic whose story is even more intriguing than James Cameron’s Oscar-winning tale of doomed love.While it’s not 100% confirmed, all signs point to the likelihood that prominent military veterans Archibald Butt (above, right) and Francis Davis Millet (above, left), who both died when the Titanic sank in 1912, were much more than just friends.The maybe-probably gay couple has been a source of fascination for years.
Historian Richard Davenport-Hines wrote in 2012 that “the enduring partnership of Butt and Millet was an early case of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,'” and a National Park Service website about a fountain built in their honor notes that “many “have asserted that Butt and Millet were involved in a romantic relationship.”Now The Washington Post is filling in more details about the men’s lives, and since it’s probably too late to write them into Titanique the Musical, currently playing at Asylum NYC, perhaps they’ll inspire a show all of their own.Millet was estranged from his wife and love letters show he had a previous relationship with writer Charles Warren Stoddard.
Butt never married, and the two shared a mansion in Washington, D.C., where they regularly threw parties. President William Howard Taft, who happened to be Butt’s boss, was a frequent guest.Related: A fascinating look inside London’s secret gay pastMillet and Butt were booked in separate rooms on the Titanic, but given that they’d have to keep their love a secret to maintain their status and freedom, this is hardly surprising.
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