In a ceremony at the White House on 1st March 1913, US President William H. Taft presented a Congressional Gold Medal to Captain Arthur H. Rostron, in recognition of his rescue of Titanic’s survivors. The award had been approved by Congress on 6th July 1912, to Captain Rostron, the officers and crew of the steamship Carpathia, “for promptly going to the relief of the steamship Titanic and heroically saving the lives of seven hundred and four people who had been shipwrecked in the North Atlantic”.
The Congressional Gold Medal, made of around 15 ounces of solid gold, is awarded to individuals by a special Act of Congress, and is different to the Congressional Medal of Honour. Each one is individually designed and struck, at the Philadelphia Mint. The design represents an important event in the person’s life. The obverse of Captain Rostron’s medal carried a likeness of his profile, and the reverse showed a swimmer being hauled into a lifeboat from the sea.