Friday marks 104 years since the RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from the United Kingdom to the United States, taking more than 1,500 lives and becoming the most famous passenger ship in history.
When the Titanic began its journey April 10, 1912, many considered the luxury liner “unsinkable.” But just four days into the trip, on the night of April 14, the ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean that tore a 300-foot slash in its hull. Less than three hours later, the liner broke apart in the early morning of April 15 with many still aboard.
Rescue teams eventually saved more than 700 lives, but many historians say the tragedy could have been avoided. In the century since that fateful night, the Titanic has continued to be a source of fascination, leading to several movies, continuing searches for its wreckage and many stories about the survivors as well as those who lost their lives.
In honor of the anniversary of the Titanic’s sad fate, here are some interesting and little-known facts about the famous ship and the story many today associate with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
1. The Titanic was 882 feet and 9 inches long, and it displaced more than 50,000 tons.
2. About 3,000 people worked for two years to build the Titanic. Nearly 250 workers were injured: Two died in construction accidents, and six more died aboard the ship during its building, which was a surprisingly good safety record for the time.
3. While the Titanic was known as a luxury ship for first- and second-class passengers, it also had much nicer third-class accommodations than other liners at the time.
4. The Titanic was the first ship to offer running water in every cabin.
5. In another unusual move for the period, the ship provided kosher food for Jewish passengers.
6. The price of a single first-class ticket on the Titanic was $4,350, which would be about $104,000 today.
7. Millvina Dean, the last living survivor of the Titanic, died in 2009. She was barely two months old when the Titanic sank and escaped the ship in a lifeboat with her mother and brother.
8. The Titanic was the first ship of its kind to contain a heated swimming pool onboard. It also featured a gym, a squash court, a Turkish bath and two libraries.
9. The ship was stocked with 20,000 bottles of beer and stout, 1,500 bottles of wine and 8,000 cigars for first-class passengers.
10. More than 700 third-class passengers shared two bathtubs on board the ship.
11. The first-class smoking lounge was for men only.
12. The Titanic had enough lifeboats for 1,178 passengers, which was less than half the ship’s capacity, but this was actually far more than safety regulations at the time called for. The ship was only required to provide lifeboat space for fewer than 1,000 people.
13. When the Titanic first launched from Southampton, United Kingdom, getting the ship into the water required 22 tons of grease and soap.
14. The Carpathia, the ship that rescued the Titanic survivors, sank in 1918 after it was torpedoed by a German U-Boat.
15. The Titanic's wreckage is now protected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).