• The Titanic

    New inventions, such as the telephone, electric lights, trolleys, and the first movie cameras, created a sense of optimism and trust in the power of engineering and scientific discovery. Architects built towering skyscrapers and opulent public buildings; engineers built automobiles, airplanes, and cruise liners. This sense of limitless possibilities was tempered, though, in 1912, when the Titanic sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

    The Titanic

    Fun Facts

    • Prior to the introduction of commercial airline flight, the only way to cross the Atlantic Ocean was by boat. Many of these boats were cramped and uncomfortable.
    • The wealthy and middle class demanded more luxurious ship lines. The Titanic was built between 1909 and 1912. It was the largest ship ever made with 29 boilers, a swimming pool, two libraries, and several dining halls. The Titanic cost $7.5 million to build and the most expensive First Class ticket cost $4,350 – or $69,600 in today’s money.
    • The Titanic had three levels – First Class, Second Class, and Third Class. The second class level was similar to most first class ship lines of the time. Third class – or steerage – rooms were small; each room contained four to six bunks. The 700 third class passengers shared two bathtubs. Locked gates separated third class passengers from the other passengers.
    • The Titanic set sail from Southampton, England on April 10, 1912, stopping for passengers in France and Ireland before beginning its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.
    • At about 11:30 p.m. on April 14, a lookout cited an iceberg in the frigid waters. The boat was quickly turned and at first, the crew believed the ship was safe. They later discovered that the iceberg had grazed the Titanic’s side, creating a 300-foot gash. Water poured into the ship.
    • The ship’s crew began loading passengers into lifeboats and launching the boats into the ocean. Unfortunately, the ship didn’t carry enough lifeboats to accommodate all the passengers and crew. Women and children were loaded first.
    • Of the 2,240 passengers and crew, only 706 survived. Most of these were first and second class passengers. The Carpathia, another steam liner, arrived near 4:00 a.m. to rescue the survivors, who were taken to New York. The Titanic split in two before sinking at 2:20 a.m.


    1. Optimism: a hopeful outlook
    2. Opulent: luxurious
    3. Maiden voyage: the first trip or voyage


    Questions and Answers

    Question: How did the people on board respond to the crisis?

    Answer: The Titanic was engineered to be “unsinkable,” so at first, some of the passengers probably felt disbelief. Later, panic and chaos ensued as people struggled to get to the life boats. When it became clear that not everyone would get off the Titanic, some men rushed to get on lifeboats. Others kissed their families goodbye and prepared to go down with the ship. The elderly founder of Macy’s department store, Isidor Straus, was offered a seat on a lifeboat because of his age, which he declined. His wife, Ida, refused to leave without him. The couple went back to their room where they died together. Several wealthy, famous passengers were aboard. Benjamin Guggenheim put on his evening clothes, saying, “We are dressed in our best and prepared to go down as gentlemen.” Heiress Molly Brown helped calm and encourage women and children as they got into the lifeboats, refusing to get into a boat until everyone near her was loaded.

    Learn More

    Visit National Geographic Kids to learn more about the Titanic.


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Tobin, Declan. (2021). Fun Facts For Kids About The Titanic - White Star Line. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/the-titanic/

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