Remembering the Titanic 100 Years Later

One hundred years ago one the worst tragedies in peacetime maritime history occurred, resulting in the deaths of over 1,500 passengers.

 

It is a story many have heard. The White Star Line launched its most luxurious and newest cruise liner on April 12, 1912. The RMS Titanic was nicknamed the “unsinkable ship” before it ever set to the seas. Titanic took its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean with over 2,200 passengers aboard. Among the passengers on the ocean liner were some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world. John Jacob Astor IV, an American businessman, real estate builder, investor, inventor, writer, and lieutenant colonel, Benjamin Guggenheim, an American businessman,  Isidor Straus, Macy’s department store owner, Margaret “Molly” Brown, an American socialite, philanthropist, and activist, and Dorothy Gibson, a pioneering American silent film actress, artist’s model and singer. As well as, immigrants from Ireland, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and many other countries, which were looking forward to a new life in America.

 

Titanic had a library, high-class restaurants, an onboard pool, and even a gymnasium. What the Titanic lacked was lifeboats. The White Star Line’s premiere cruise liner carried lifeboats that would fit only 1,178 of its passengers and crew, less than half of the number of souls aboard.

Four days into the magnificent ship’s maiden voyage, she struck an iceberg. It was approximately 11:40 p.m. when the ship’s metal, starboard side was punctured by the glacial mass. It took no more than two and a half hours for the “unsinkable” ship to rest on the floor of Atlantic Ocean, 12,415 feet below sea level.

 

Just as the 1997 blockbuster film by James Cameron depicts, the ship’s crew evacuated women and children in the lifeboats first. Unfortunately, it is also the truth that many of the few lifeboats that were available were launched under capacity, leaving at least a thousand beings to sink with the ship. Around 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Titanic broke apart and sank bow first. Those who found themselves in the freezing waters of the Atlantic died of hypothermia in a few short minutes. When the RMS Carpathia arrived on the morbid scene a few hours later, she was able to rescue around seven hundred of the passengers that weren’t lucky enough to make it to a lifeboat.

 

In 1985, the RMS Titanic was rediscovered. Since then a large number of artifacts have been removed from the seabed and place in museums around the world. Artifacts cannot be removed from inside the ship itself. The ship is considered sacred. The “Snoop Vision” used in Cameron’s film to remove the vault from the ship, is infeasible. Artifacts surround he ship’s resting place can be removed, but not from inside. Museums in New York, Denver, Nova Scotia, France, England, and Ireland, exhibit artifacts to the public, sharing the sad story with a large range of generations.

 

Some of these museums boast exact replicas of the Titanic, others have interactive attractions and 3-D projections, and some even have indoor rides. There was a cruise to the sight of the Titanic for the centennial of the sinking that cost $5,000 per ticket. Many hotels and restaurants in honor of the Titanic’s tragic fate, were offering Titanic themed packages and dinners.

 

Also being re-released for the centennial of the Titanic’s sinking is James Cameron’s 1997, award-winning film, Titanic 3-D. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, this timeless classic depicts the story of two passengers aboard the ill-fated Titanic’s maiden voyage, from two different classes who fall in love. It captured the hearts of one generation, and now will be on the silver screen once again for a new generation to experience.

 

The tale of the Titanic will intrigue generations to come for decades. To the many souls who perished on that magnificent ship, may you rest in peace and never be forgotten.

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