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This April is the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and the world’s interest in the most famous shipwreck of all time is stronger than ever. On April 10, 1912 the steamship Titanic set out on its doomed maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. On board were 2227 excited passengers and crew members. There were 20 lifeboats onboard, more than the number required by law, but not enough for all passengers and crew. No lifeboat drills were conducted. Only 705 would survive the ship’s collision with an iceberg four days later. 
The Titanic was intended to be the largest and most luxurious passenger liner of her time. Construction of the ship that was designed to be unsinkable began March 31, 1909. It took three years and more than 3000 men and 3 million rivets to build the 882 ½ foot long ship. At that time it was the largest vessel afloat. Some of today’s cruise ships are over 1000 feet long.

The most deluxe staterooms on the Titanic were reserved for first class passengers. They had a private deck, two bedrooms, a sitting room, two wardrobe rooms and a private bathroom and cost $4,350. Today that ticket would cost $100,034. Cabins for third class passengers were one room with bunk beds and cost about $40. Today the cost would about $793. While everything on the ship was new and modern there were only two bathtubs for 700 third class passengers to share.

Among the supplies onboard when the Titanic set sail were 40,000 eggs, 75,000 pounds of fresh meat , 36,000 apples, and 1,750 quarts of ice cream as well as 3,000 tea cups and 7,500 blankets. 
You may already know that the Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. at night on Sunday, April 14, 1912 and sunk just over two-and-a-half hours later. Several things may have contributed to the tragedy that claimed 1,500 lives. Though the damage in the hull was 220 to 245 feet long, the most recent evidence shows that there was only a 12 square foot opening (the size of a refrigerator) in the hull allowing water inside the ship. Was the ship traveling too fast for the weather conditions? Did the collision with the iceberg cause the rivets to pop out of the hull? Should the ship have hit the iceberg head on instead of trying to steer around it? We may never know if there was a way to prevent the Titanic from sinking. The Titanic was rediscovered on the ocean floor on July 14th, 1986, 74 years after it sank. 
After the sinking of the Titanic new safety regulations were recommended. Ships were soon required to carry enough lifeboats to hold everyone onboard and that that lifeboat drills were properly performed.

Did you know?

• The Titanic was the first ship to have a heated swimming pool onboard. It also had electric elevators, a tanning bed, and a gymnasium with a mechanical horse and camel.

• Its full name was RMS Titanic, The RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship. Over 3000 bags of mail were onboard.

• The paint was still wet in some spots when the first passengers boarded on April 10, 1912.

• The Titanic’s whistle could be heard 11 miles away.

• The cost to build the Titanic in 1912, $7,500,000, cost to build Titanic today: over $400,000,000.

• The top speed of the Titanic was 23 knots (about 25 miles per hour).

• The Titanic was about as long as the Empire State building is tall.

Check These Out!

882 1/2 Amazing Answers to your Questions about the Titanic
Brewster, Hugh
Questions and answers present information about the building, passengers, launching, sailing, sinking, and rediscovery of the Titanic. Includes illustrations, archival images, and step-by-step diagrams.
Explore Titanic
Chrisp, Peter
A pictorial history of the ill-fated ocean liner is comprised of photographs and illustrations as well as 3-D-rendered graphics that relate its story from the 1911 launch at the Belfast shipyard to its destruction during its maiden voyage.
Adams, Simon
On Board the Titanic
Tanaka, Shelley
Seventeen-year-old Jack Thayer explores the Titanic and forms a brief friendship with another passenger before experiencing the wreck of the giant ocean liner.
The Titanic Disaster
Benoit, Peter
Provides a brief overview of the sinking of the RMS "Titanic," in 1912, describing the ship's collision with an iceberg, the safety precautions the ship had for passengers in the event of an emergency, and the rescue efforts to save the surviving passengers.
Driscoll, Laura
Ghosts of the Titanic
Lawson, Julie
Alternates between the tales of Angus Seaton, the youngest crew member on a boat recovering bodies from the Titanic wreckage in 1912, and Kevin Messenger, a modern-day class clown in Victoria, British Columbia, who helps lay a victim's spirit to rest.
Pig on the Titanic
Crew, Gary
On the disastrous night when the ocean liner Titanic sinks, the sounds of a pig-shaped music box cheer children escaping in a lifeboat.
Voyage on the Great Titanic
White, Ellen Emerson
In her diary in 1912, thirteen-year-old Margaret Ann describes how she leaves her lonely life in a London orphanage to become a companion to a wealthy American woman, sails on the Titanic, and experiences its sinking.
Duey, Kathleen
During the final hours aboard the Titanic on her ill-fated voyage in 1912, Gavin and Karolina attempt to help others and by so doing learn something about themselves.
White Star
Crisp, Marty
Twelve-year-old Sam, a passenger on the Titanic's maiden sea voyage, volunteers to help care for the dogs in the ocean liner's kennel and becomes fast friends with the Irish setter of J. Bruce Ismay, the ship's owner.

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