April 15, 2013

Anniversary of the Titanic

On this day in 1912, the Titanic, the largest ocean liner ever built, struck a iceberg and sunk. Considered the most state-of-the-art ship at the time, it was five days into its maiden voyage when disaster struck. Even though the crew tried to steer the ship around the iceberg, the iceberg hit the side of the ship. Two hours Titanic had sunk, taking fifteen hundred passengers with it.
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Built in Belfast, Ireland, the Titanic was the largest of the three ships built by the White Star Line. It was thought that the Titanic was indestructible. The hull was 882 feet long, nearly the length of three football fields. The ship had nine decks, which made it as tall as an eleven-story building. The hull was constructed with sixteen separate watertight compartments. Giant iron doors were added, so that if one compartment started taking on water, the door could be closed, preventing any water from flowing into other compartments.

Departing from Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912, the passenger list comprised some of the most wealthy and famous people in the world, including Benjamin Guggenheim and Isidor Straus (founder of Macy's department store.) More than half of the ship's passengers traveled in third class. Most of these passengers were immigrants, traveling to North America to start a new life for themselves.

Written for the upper elementary or middle school reader, this title describes what happened that night, introduces readers to those who tried and were able to help others, as well as investigates the aftermath, including why this ocean liner had only one voyage.

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