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Titanic Timeline

The Titanic is remembered in history as one of the worst maritime disasters. We take a look at some of the important dates in Titanic history.

July 31st, 1908 - The contract is signed for the construction of the Titanic along with her sister ships Olympic and Britannic. Titanic would be the second of the ships built.

March 31st, 1909 - Construction of the Titanic began at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland.

May 31st, 1911 - Titanic was launched from her berth at the shipyard.

October 11th, 1911 - After the Olympic was damaged in a collision, the start date of Titanic’s maiden voyage was rescheduled from March 20th, 1912 to April 10th, 1912.

February 3rd, 1912 - Titanic was put into dry dock in Belfast.

March 25th, 1912 - The Titanic’s lifeboats and davits were tested.

March 31st, 1912 - With the exception of some internal work, the Titanic’s “fitting out” process was completed.

April 2nd, 1912 - The Titanic underwent sea trials with Captain Edward J. Smith at the helm.

April 4th, 1912 - The Titanic arrived in Southampton, England just after midnight as part of her sea trials.

April 5th, 1912 - Titanic was adorned with flags and pennants in honor of the citizens of Southampton.

April 6th, 1912 - Recruitment Day! The vacancies in Titanic’s crew were filled while miscellaneous cargo was brought onboard.

April 8th, 1912 - Fresh food was brought on the ship in preparation for the voyage.

April 10th, 1912 - Captain Smith, the crew and passengers board Titanic and the ship’s maiden voyage gets underway at noon. Titanic would stop at Cherbourg, France before heading for Queenstown, Ireland.

April 11th, 1912 - Titanic left Queenstown for the journey to New York.

April 13th, 1912 - Titanic had covered over 900 miles of its journey between the 11th and 13th. Titanic received a warning from the Rappahannock regarding the dangers of ice.

April 14th, 1912 - More ice warnings were received by the crew while the water temperatures dropped below freezing. Hours later, Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40pm.

April 15th, 1912 - Shortly after midnight, Thomas Andrews advised Captain Smith that Titanic will founder. Lifeboats began lowering shortly thereafter. Titanic sank around 2:20am. Among the victims were Captain Edward J. Smith, Thomas Andrews, Isidor and Ida Straus, Archibald Butt, Benjamin Guggenheim and John Jacob Astor. Just after 4:00am the first lifeboat was rescued by the Carpathia.

April 17th, 1912 - The ship, the Mackay-Bennet, was hired by the White Star Line to find and recover the bodies of victims. Only 328 would be recovered.

April 18th, 1912 - The Carpathia arrived in New York with survivors.

April 19th, 1912 - The U.S. Senate’s inquiry into the sinking began.

May 14th, 1912 - The silent movie “Saved From the Titanic” starring Dorothy Gibson who survived the disaster, was released.

May 25th, 1912 - The Senate inquiry ended.

December 4th, 1912 - Archibald Gracie IV, who actually went down with the ship and survived, succumbed to his injuries.

October 26th, 1932 - Molly Brown, a.k.a. The Unsinkable Molly Brown, passed away.

October 17th, 1937 - Former owner of the White Star Line, J. Bruce Ismay, passed away. After the Titanic disaster he spent much of his life in seclusion.

November 10th, 1943 - The German film “Titanic” premiered.

December 8th, 1952 - Charles Herbert Lightoller, the Second Officer on Titanic, passed away.

April 16th, 1953 - “Titanic” starring Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Wagner was released.

December 1955 - Walter Lord’s book “A Night To Remember” was released.

July 1st, 1958 - “A Night To Remember” based on Walter Lord’s book premiered in London, England.

September 23rd, 1979 - “S.O.S. Titanic” starring Ian Holm, Cloris Leachman and Helen Mirren was broadcast on TV.

August 1st, 1980 - “Raise the Titanic” starring Jason Robards and Alec Guiness was released.

September 1st, 1985 - Dr. Robert Ballard and his crew from IFREMER and Woods Hole Institute found the Titanic wreck on the bottom of the North Atlantic in over 12,500 feet of water.

November 17th, 1996 - The made for TV movie, “Titanic”, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, George C. Scott, Tim Curry and Peter Gallagher aired.

December 19th, 1997 - James Cameron’s “Titanic” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet was released. The film would go on to win the best picture Oscar and became one of the highest grossing films of all time.

August 10th, 1998 - A piece of Titanic’s hull weighing almost twenty tons was brought to the surface.

April 11th, 2003 - James Cameron’s documentary “Ghosts of the Abyss” was released via IMAX.

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