Here’s a look at the RMS Titanic.
April 10, 1912 - The Titanic sets sail on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York.
April 14-15, 1912 - The luxury liner hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic around midnight and sinks in less than three hours.
1,517 people died and 706 survived out of 2,223 passengers and crew, according to the US Senate report on the disaster.
The estimated cost of construction was $7.5 million.
At the time, the RMS Titanic was the largest passenger ship afloat.
The ship’s length was 882 feet, 9 inches, and it weighed 46,328 tons. Its top speed was 23 knots.
The wreckage is located about 350 miles off the southeast coast of Newfoundland.
The iceberg punctured five of 16 supposedly watertight compartments designed to hold water in case of a breach to the hull.
Investigations at the time blamed Captain Edward Smith for going too fast in dangerous waters, initial ship inspections that had been done too quickly, insufficient room in the lifeboats for all passengers, and a nearby ship’s failure to help.
Many maritime safety reforms were implemented as a result of the findings of the investigations.
Victims and Survivors
There were 329 1st class passengers aboard. 199 survived.
There were 285 2nd class passengers aboard. 119 survived.
There were 710 3rd class passengers aboard. 174 survived.
There were 899 crew members aboard. 214 survived.
Smith went down with the ship, and his body was never recovered.
Frederick Fleet, one of the crew members who first alerted Smith to the iceberg, was rescued and survived.
- The “Unsinkable” Margaret (Molly) Brown - wife of a silver mine manager, helped command a lifeboat and nursed injured survivors.
- J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the International Mercantile Marine and one of the Titanic’s owners.
- Henry S. Harper, of the firm Harper & Bros.
- Colonel John Jacob Astor, member of the Astor family.
- Isidor Straus, co-owner of Macy’s.
- Benjamin Guggenheim, member of the Guggenheim family.
- George D. Widener, son of P.A.B. Widener, Philadelphia businessman.
- Washington Roebling, whose uncle was a builder of the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Charles Melville Hays, general manager of the Grand Trunk Railway.
- William Thomas Stead, journalist and publicist.
- Jacques Futrelle, journalist.
- Henry Birkhardt Harris, theatrical manager.
- Major Archibald Butt, military aide to President Taft and President Roosevelt.
- Francis Davis Millet, American painter.
(local time, based on the location of the ship)
March 31, 1909 - Construction on the ship begins, as a design collaboration between William Pirrie’s firm Harland and Wolff and J. Bruce Ismay’s White Star Line, in Belfast, Ireland, and takes three years to complete.
April 10, 1912, 12 p.m. - The RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton, England, on its maiden voyage, with approximately 2,220 passengers and crew.
April 10, 1912, 6:30 p.m. - Arrival in Cherbourg, France.
April 10, 1912, 8:10 p.m. - Leaves Cherbourg.
April 11, 1912, 11:30 a.m. - Arrival in Queenstown, Ireland.
April 11, 1912, 1:30 p.m. - Leaves Queenstown, raising anchor for the last time.
April 14, 1912, 11:40 p.m. - The Titanic hits an iceberg.
April 15, 1912, 12:40 a.m. - Captain Smith gives the order to uncover the lifeboats and evacuate women and children.
April 15, 1912, 12:20 a.m. - The RMS Carpathia receives distress calls and heads to the site to help. It arrives at 3:30 a.m.
April 15, 1912, 12:45 a.m. - The first lifeboat is launched with 28 people on board out of a capacity of 65.
April 15, 1912, 2:20 a.m. - The Titanic sinks in less than three hours.
April 15, 1912, 8:50 a.m. - The Carpathia leaves for New York with 705 Titanic survivors onboard. It arrives April 18.
April and May 1912 - Separate American and British investigations and official inquiries take place.
September 1, 1985 - Scientists from Woods Hole Deep Submergence LAB in Massachusetts, led by Dr. Robert Ballard, and IFREMER, the French Institute Francais de Recherche pour l’Exploitation des Mers, led by Jean Jarry, locate the wreckage of Titanic.
July 13, 1986 - Ballard and his crew use the manned deep-ocean research submersible Alvin to explore the wreckage. The Alvin is accompanied by a remotely operated vehicle named Jason Jr. to conduct photographic surveys and further inspections.
2004 - Guernsey’s auctions off memorabilia and a few artifacts that had been passed down through the families of survivors from the ship, including an original menu that goes for about $100,000.
May 31, 2009 - The last known survivor, Millvina Dean, dies at age 97.
March 31, 2012 - The world’s largest Titanic attraction opens in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the ship was built.
April 8-20, 2012 - The 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s voyage. The MS Balmoral traces the ship’s route from Southampton to New York and holds a memorial service, above the wreck, on April 15.
March 2015 - A letter said to have been written by a mother and daughter aboard the Titanic is displayed at the Titanic’s Belfast center in Northern Ireland. The letter was purchased at auction by a couple who then loaned the letter to be displayed at the Titanic exhibition for the next five years.
September 30, 2015 - A first-class lunch menu from the Titanic is sold at auction for $88,000. Auctioned for $7500 was a letter to the man who allegedly bribed a lifeboat’s crew to row away from the disaster rather than rescue more people.
August 2019 - The wreckage is visited for the first time in 14 years during a series of five dives completed by an exploration team from Triton Submarines. The ship is found to be in the process of being swallowed up by the ocean floor and ravaged by metal-eating bacteria.
January 21, 2020 - A statement from British Department for Transport and Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani confirms that the wreck of the Titanic will be protected under an international agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom.