15 Apr Remembering the Titanic
For years, the story of the Titanic has fascinated historians, scientists, storytellers, and more. How could something heralded as unsinkable, something so extravagant, reach the exact fate its designers and builders tried to avoid? Yet on this day 108 years ago, that’s exactly what happened. The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in just two hours and forty minutes.
Why did everyone think it was unsinkable?
The ship was designed with a series of 16 compartments that would contain water should the unthinkable happen and the ship take on water. However, for the ship not to sink, only four of the compartments could fill up with water. Once the Titanic was damaged from the iceberg, at least five of the compartments were filled.
One of the largest ships in the world, the Titanic was approximately 882.5 feet long (that’s almost three football fields) and 92.5 feet wide at its widest point. The Titanic’s passengers had access to a swimming pool, exercise room, Turkish baths, and even a library. Even if passengers chose to travel third class, they received amenities better than other liners of the day. All meals were provided – if you traveled on other ships, you had to bring your own food for the entire journey.
How many survived?
There were more than 2,200 people on board, with only 20 lifeboats, which, if filled to capacity, would have saved 1178 people. Only 705 people survived. After this tragedy, the rules were changed to require every vessel to have enough lifeboats for everyone on board.
Check out these resources to learn more about the Titanic
- Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House series) by Mary Pope Osborne
- Magic Tree House Fact Tracker series: Titanic
- Step into Reading series: The Titanic Lost and Found
For Young Adults:
- Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
- Titanic: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Greatest Shipwreck by National Geographic