The Royal Mail Ship Titanic was the famous passenger ship that sank after hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912. It happened on her maiden voyage after she left England heading to New York City. It was the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history, killing 1,517 people.
Titanic was an Olympic-class ocean liner operated by the White Star Line, and was the largest ship of her day. Her passengers included some of the wealthiest people in the world, including millionaire John Jacob Astor of New York City.
Astor had divorced his wife and soon after married another woman, a scandalous thing in those days. He and his very young bride traveled to Europe to get away from the gossip. His 18-year-old wife became pregnant they made plans to return home so the child could be born in the United States. First-class tickets were purchased for the RMS Titanic. Astor’s wife survived, but John Astor died along with over a thousand others when the ship sank.
The huge loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures caused outrage around the world. It had only been 5 years earlier that Professor Angelo Colosi and his daughter, Lucia, had boarded a similar ship and traveled across the Atlantic. The news must have gripped their hearts to think that something like this could have happened to them.
Titanic sank at 2:20 am, and the passengers and crew that were left onboard were plunged into lethally cold 28 °F water. Only 13 of those found in the water were helped into the lifeboats. When the survivors arrived at the dock at 9:30 pm on April 18th they were greeted by about 40,000 people in the heavy rain.
Many of those who had been traveling to America in the 3rd class steerage area lost everything they owned. Several charities were set up to help victims and their families. Opera star Enrico Caruso and other members of the Metropolitan Opera gave special concerts and raised $12,000 in benefits for the victims.
The wreck of the Titanic is lying under the ocean at a depth of 12,415 feet. It was rediscovered in 1985 and thousands of artifacts have been recovered and placed in Museums around the world. Titanic has become one of the most famous ships in history. Books, films, exhibits and memorials have been devoted to her memory.