Sunday, April 15, 2012

100 years ago...


The Titanic, an ocean liner sank during its maiden journey on April 15, 1912.

Her passengers included some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as over a thousand emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere seeking a new life in North America. The ship was designed to be the last word in comfort and luxury, with an on-board gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and opulent cabins. She also had a powerful wireless telegraph provided for the convenience of passengers as well as for operational use. Though she had advanced safety features such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors, she lacked enough lifeboats to accommodate all of those aboard. Due to outdated maritime safety regulations, she carried only enough lifeboats for 1,178 people – slightly more than half of the number travelling on the maiden voyage and one-third her total passenger and crew capacity.

After leaving Southampton on 10 April 1912, Titanic called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland before heading westwards towards New York. On 14 April 1912, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 pm. The glancing collision caused Titanic's hull plates to buckle inwards in a number of locations on her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea. Over the next two and a half hours, the ship gradually filled with water and sank. Passengers and some crew members were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which were launched only partly filled. A disproportionate number of men – over 90% of those in Second Class – were left aboard due to a "women and children first" protocol followed by the officers loading the lifeboats. Just before 2:20 am Titanic broke up and sank bow-first with over a thousand people still on board. Those in the water died within minutes from hypothermia caused by immersion in the freezing ocean. The 710 survivors were taken aboard from the lifeboats by RMS Carpathia a few hours later.

The disaster was greeted with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures that had led to it. Public inquiries in Britain and the United States led to major improvements in maritime safety. One of their most important legacies was the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety today. Many of the survivors lost all of their money and possessions and were left destitute; many families, particularly those of crew members from Southampton, lost their primary bread-winners. They were helped by an outpouring of public sympathy and charitable donations. Some of the male survivors, notably the White Star Line's chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, were accused of cowardice for leaving the ship while people were still on board, and they faced social ostracism.

The wreck of Titanic remains on the seabed, gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415 feet (3,784 m). Since its rediscovery in 1985, thousands of artefacts have been recovered from the sea bed and put on display at museums around the world. Titanic has become one of the most famous ships in history, her memory kept alive by numerous books, folk songs, films, exhibits and memorials.


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Have a fabulous day!

**Much appreciation for Wikipedia - always making me look smarter than I am**

11 comments:

Laurie of Lulu and Daisy said...

Great post! Titanic is so fascinating. I watched James Cameron's special on NatGeo yesterday. It was an amazing ship for the time.

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Hubs and I went to a Titanic Exhibit last November, it was very good. I couldn't believe they had recovered perfume vials, which were still emitting scent.

Wendy said...

Wonderful post. I was in junior high school when I first heard about its sinking and have been fascinated buy it ever since.

thepreppyprincess said...

What a perfect post for the day, I spent the morning looking at photos from before, during and after the accident, it is one amazing story!

Sending you a smile,
tp

Beth Dunn said...

Such a part of our history. I love hearing all the stories on the news right now.
xoxo
SC

About Last Weekend said...

It's still one an event that continues to fascinate...I know there are loads more books on this subject out there this month too.

Debra said...

Great post. I didn't know all those historic details about the Titanic. Thanks for sharing.

Chris said...

Hi there, we just learned that a local "wealthy" businessman from our city was on the Titanic and was lost. I had never known that. James Cameron (Titanic) also was a Canadian. He was born in Kapuskasing, just north of where I live. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

daphne {flip flops and pearls} said...

Would you believe I have never seen it before!!!!

I might need to sit down and watch it :)

Teena in Toronto said...

Such a tragic story :(

Shelley said...

Items from the Titanic were actually on view next door to my office back when I worked in Newcastle city centre. It was a temporary display and sadly I didn't get there before it closed up and moved. I should track that down and make a point to go...It really was a part of history that will never be forgotten.