What Is the History of the Titanic?

The Titanic was a British-registered luxury ship that set sail from Southampton, United Kingdom, on its maiden voyage on April 10, 1912. The ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean en route to New York in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. More than 1,500 people died.

Commissioned by White Star Line, the Titanic took approximately three years to build and was considered unsinkable. At the time of its completion, it was the world's largest passenger ship. Electric lights, elevators, heaters, an on-board gym and a heated swimming pool were among its many amenities.

The Titanic left Southampton on April 10 under the command of Captain Edward Smith. After brief stops in France and Ireland, she headed toward New York. Through much of the day on April 14, the Titanic's crew received warnings of ice in the area. The ship was about 300 miles from New York at 11:40 p.m. when it actually struck an iceberg.

With far too few lifeboats aboard, women and children were loaded first, though many men managed to join as well. Many of the lifeboats carried far less than their capacity. The ship began to take on water, and at 2:18 a.m. on April 15, the Titanic broke in half. At 2:20 a.m., the ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew members aboard, fewer than 715 survived.