Margaret was conveyed to the passenger linerRMSTitanic as a first class passenger aboard the tender SS Nomadic at Cherbourg, France. The Titanic sank early on April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg the night before. Margaret helped others board the lifeboats but was finally convinced to leave the ship in Lifeboat No. 6. She would later be regarded as a heroine for her efforts to get Lifeboat 6 to go back to search for survivors. Molly Brown was dubbed “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” by historians because she helped in the ship’s evacuation, taking an oar herself in her lifeboat and protesting for the lifeboat to go back to try to save more people.
This was met with strong opposition from QuartermasterRobert Hichens, the crewman in charge of Lifeboat 6, who was fearful that if they did go back, the lifeboat would either be pulled down due to suction, or the people in the water would swamp the boat in an effort to get inside.
After the sinking her fame as a well-known Titanic survivor helped her promote the issues she felt strongly about—the rights of workers and women, education and literacy for children, historic preservation, and commemoration of the bravery and chivalry displayed by the men aboard the Titanic. During World War I in France, she worked with the American Committee for Devastated France to rebuild areas behind the front line and helped wounded French and American soldiers. She was awarded the French Legion of Honour for her good citizenship including her activism and philanthropy in America.