Timeline Description: While the Titanic was expected to be the greatest ship of its age, it sank only days into its maiden voyage. The Titanic struck an iceberg, and sank rapidly. The unsinkable ship had been proven to be not only sinkable, but inadequately prepared for disaster.
|July 29, 1908||Design Approved
In late July, 1908, the design for the Titanic was approved. It was the largest ship built, as well as the heaviest and most luxurious. It was believed the ship was unsinkable.
|March 31, 1909||Construction Began
Construction on the Titanic began in the spring of 1909. If the ship was a success, the White Star Line planned to build two more, the Olympic and Gigantic.
|May 31, 1911||Hull Launched
More than two years later, the ship was ready to leave dry dock and be launched into the water. Construction would continue for the remainder of 1911.
|January 1912||Lifeboats Fitted
In January 1912, the Titanic was fitted with its lifeboats, some 16 in total. There were not, even at this time, enough lifeboats to accommodate the passengers and crew of the ship.
|March 31, 1912||Fitting Complete
The ship was complete and ready to sail by the end of March 1912. The luxurious and formal interiors were finished, and the ship would sail in only a few days.
|April 1912||Sea Trials Began
Sea trials began and the Titanic moved to Southampton. The passengers would board, and set sail from Southampton.
|April 10, 1912||Passengers Board
On the morning of April 10, the passengers boarded the Titanic. Later that day, additional passengers boarded in France.
|April 11, 1912||Reached Queenstown, Ireland
On April 11, the Titanic reached its next port of call, in Queenstown, Ireland. This is the last time many of the passengers were seen alive.
|April 12, 1912||Calm Waters(April 12 and 13, 1912)
For the next two days, the passengers and crew on the Titanic enjoyed calm waters, fine dining and formal dancing.
|April 14, 1912||Iceberg
During the day on April 14, the ship received a number of iceberg warnings. At 11:40 P.M., the Titanic struck a large iceberg on the right starboard side. The ship took on water.
|April 15, 1912||Call for Help, Evacuation and Rescue
Orders were given to begin evacuations. There were not enough seats in the lifeboats, leaving some 1500 people without any possibility of rescue. At midnight on the 15th, the captain sent a distress call. A ship some 58 miles away, the Carpathia, responded. The Titanic slowly sank at 2:20 A.M. on the morning of the 15th. The Carpathia arrived at 4:10 A.M. and rescued some 708 passengers.
|April 18, 1912||The Carpathia Reaches New York
The Carpathia arrived in New York, along with some 708 rescued passengers from the Titanic.
|April 1912||Inquiry Held in New York(April-May, 1912)
An inquiry began in New York on April 19, the day after the Carpathia arrived carrying survivors. In response to the inquiry, new safety regulations, particularly regarding lookouts and lifeboats, were put into place.
|April 1912||Ships Sent to Retrieve Bodies(April-May, 1912)
Ships set sail from New York to retrieve the bodies of the dead. More than 300 bodies were retrieved from the cold waters and brought back for burial.
|May 1912||British Inquiry(May-July 1912)
The British conducted their own inquiry in the late spring and summer of 1912. The British Inquiry also questioned the failure of the nearby S.S. California to offer aid and assistance.