Titanic Facts and History Overview
RMS Titanic was a British luxury passenger ship that sank on April 14-15, 1912, during its maiden voyage. Around 1,500 of the estimated 2,240 passengers and crew perished in the sinking, and the now-famous disaster has become the legendary subject of numerous books and movies.
Building of the Titanic
The ship, constructed by the White Star Line, included fifteen watertight bulkheads that could be sealed in case of a hull breach. This revolutionary design led to claims that she would be unsinkable. Passenger accommodations were notable in both their ornate decoration and level of comfort.
Titanic’s First and Final Voyage
On April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail for New York City from Southampton, England. Prominent passengers on board included businessman Benjamin Guggenheim, Macy’s owner Isidor Straus, John Jacob Astor, “Molly” Brown, ship designer Thomas Andrews, and White Star chairman J. Bruce Ismay. Of these, only Brown and Ismay would survive.
Nearby ships warned of icebergs, but the Titanic kept up her pace. Just before midnight on April 14th, lookouts spotted an iceberg dead ahead; the ship turned in vain to avoid a collision. Five of the bulkheads were breached, and as the ship began to sink, water flowed over the bulkhead walls to fill even more compartments.
Sinking of the Titanic and Rescue of Survivors
Captain Edward J. Smith ordered a distress signal to be sent; it was received by the Carpathia, which immediately set off in the direction of the Titanic. The twenty lifeboats that had been included on the Titanic would carry barely half the passengers and were launched well under capacity. Around 2:20 a.m. on April 15, the last of the Titanic slipped under the freezing ocean water. Carpathia arrived almost an hour later and picked up the lifeboats, which carried only 705 survivors.
Discovery of Titanic’s Wreck
In September of 1985, the wreckage of the Titanic was first found and photographed by a submersible sled from Robert Ballard’s expedition. Subsequent study and salvage from the wreckage has led to new speculation about how the unsinkable ship sank that night in 1912.
Learn more about the RMS Titanic through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about RMS Titanic
Cost of supplies for the RMS Titanic and sister ship, the RMS Olympic Thu, Feb 2, 1911 – 4 · Corvallis Gazette-Times (Corvallis, Oregon) · Newspapers.comLaunch of the RMS Titanic Thu, Jun 1, 1911 – Page 9 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comDescription of the White Star Line’s two new ships the RMS Titanic and the RMS Olympic Sun, Jun 25, 1911 – Page 6 · Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comEarly headlines of sinking of RMS Titanic; mistakenly reports "no lives lost" Mon, Apr 15, 1912 – Page 1 · Vancouver Daily World (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.comFront-page newspaper coverage of the sinking of the Titanic, with partial list of survivors 16 Apr 1912, Tue The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) Newspapers.comNot enough lifeboats on the RMS Titanic to rescue all passengers Wed, Apr 17, 1912 – Page 2 · The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comPicture of officers of the RMS Titanic who went down with the ship Wed, Apr 17, 1912 – 2 · The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) · Newspapers.comPictures of the interior of the RMS Titanic Wed, Apr 17, 1912 – 2 · The Butte Miner (Butte, Montana) · Newspapers.comFirst hand accounts and other headline news about the RMS Titanic Sat, Apr 20, 1912 – Page 13 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comStories of two heroes during the sinking of the RMS Titanic Sat, Apr 20, 1912 – Page 11 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comTimeline of the tragic history of the RMS Titanic Sat, Apr 20, 1912 – Page 11 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comMember of mail crew leaves behind wife after his courageous work aboard the RMS Titanic Sun, Apr 21, 1912 – Page 6 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.comPhotos of survivors of the RMS Titanic aboard the Carpathia an hour after their rescue Sun, Apr 21, 1912 – Page 4 · The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comInquiries and explanations about the sinking of the RMS Titanic Mon, Apr 22, 1912 – 9 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comThe unsolved mysteries of the RMS Titanic Sun, Jun 23, 1912 – Page 57 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.comRMS Titanic inquiries between Britain and America Fri, Apr 26, 1912 – 10 · The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) · Newspapers.comImage of the iceberg which the RMS Titanic may have struck Fri, Apr 26, 1912 – 10 · The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) · Newspapers.com