The RMS Titanic, a Belfast-built, White Star ocean-liner, set sail on her maiden voyage from Southhampton to New York City on April 10th, 1912. She called at Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland, but just four days into the transatlantic crossing and 375 miles south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg which caused her hull plates to buckle and several watertight compartments to open and flood. Within less than three hours of the collision, the Titanic sank. Enough for 1,200 passengers, twenty lifeboats and the method for using them proved insufficient. In the greatest commercial marine disaster of all time, 1,500 people died, many of them immigrants, but also some of the wealthiest and most famous people of the era, including John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim. Seven hundred passengers survived and the last one, Eliza Gladys "Millvina" Dean, two months old at the time of the tragedy, died in 2009.
The ship remains on the depths of the ocean floor, although thousands of artifacts, from clothing and jewelry, to china, tools, and equipment, have been recovered and displayed in the museums throughout the world,. The tragedy led to new maritime laws ensuring safety of vessels; improvements in ship design (building of double hulls and heightened watertight bulkheads); the provision of sufficient lifeboats; mandated use of SOS as code; and international ice patrol. Titanic has kept alive through popular culture, being the subject of numerous books, films, songs, and memorials. Examples include: the 1997 award-winning film production
starring Leonard DiCaprio and Kate Winslet; 1958 production, A Night to Remember
, eponymous book
by Walter Lord (Henry Holt, 1955), and folk music recording
by Woodie Guthrie.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers
, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Special Cable to The New York Times. (1912, Apr 11). Titanic In Peril On Leaving Port. New York Times (1857-1922)
- With 1300 Souls On Board, Liner Titanic Hits Iceberg and Is Reported Sinking. (1912, Apr 15). The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945)
- Unknown Steamer Near When Titanic Sank. (1912, Apr 23). Los Angeles Times (1886-1922)
- Unknown Ship Passed Sinking Liner Titanic But Tendered No Aid. (1912, Apr 23). The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945)
- Collins, C. (1953, Apr 12). Sinking of the Titanic. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963)
- Manna, S. (1981, Nov 30). Oldest Living Titanic Survivor Recalls 1912 Disaster. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Lucke, J. (1992, Apr 14). April 14, 1912: A Night Remembered. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current)
- McCaughan, M. (2011, May 28). The Launch of a Leviathan. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Mohn, T. (2012, Apr 08). Crossing the Ocean, 1912 vs. 2012. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Broad, W. J. (2012, Apr 10). The Iceberg Was Only Part of It. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Lord, Walter. The Night Lives On: The Untold Stories and Secrets Behind the Sinking of the "Unsinkable" Ship - Titanic. New York: Open Road, 2012.
- Pipe, Jim. Titanic: A Very Peculiar History: With Added Iceberg. Brighton, England: Book House, Salariya, 2012.
- Remembering the Titanic: One of the Greatest Maritime Tragedies in Maritime History. National Geographic. Contains videos, games, and interactive, maps, nonfiction reading, and a timeline.
- Titanic Historical Society
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