Sunday, April 15, 2012

RMS Titanic

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. I have always been fascinated by the RMS Titanic. As a little girl I owned all the children's books on Titanic that I could find at our local bookstore and I had checked out all the books at my elementary school. This fascination probably stems from all the excitement that circled around the finding of the Titanic's wreck September 1, 1985, which also happened to be my 9th birthday.
RMS Titanic during sea trials April 2, 1912.  Collection of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 306 RG 306.
The Titanic sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, following a close encounter with a large ice berg. Of the more than 2,200 total people on board, around 1500 died, nearly 70 percent. An interesting Titanic passenger demographic page has been created by the Ithaca College Library and is located here. While the records with information regarding the passenger, crew and survivor lists are not exact, it is clear that preferences were made to First Class passengers, rather than the typical "women and children first."
New York Herald from April 15, 1912 reports the sinking of the Titanic. The Herald was one of the first newspapers to print the news of the disasters. Part of the America Treasures of the Library of Congress
Survivors of the Titanic on board the Carpathia. Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

I'm not sure if I am more drawn to the grandeur of the Titanic or the tragedy of so many lives lost, but either way I continue to be pulled to all things Titanic. I saw the movie Titanic countless times, rebutting the friends that said: "Why? You know how it ends." The movie even furthered my fascination with the ship because it took the historical photographs I remembered, mixed them with fabulous costuming and turned it all in to a visual of the Titanic I could only previously imagine. And if you've ever wondered, RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship indicating that Titanic was an official carrier of English mail.

For more information on the Titanic, visit the following sites:

RMS Titanic, Inc., official stewards of the Titanic wreck
Titanic Expedition, hosted by RMS Titanic, Inc. Explores the upcoming expedition to the Titanic wreck
Titanic, the movie
Encyclopedia Smithsonian - Titanic
Ocean Planet, Titanic, includes numerous links to additional Titanic information

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