On this day April 15, 1912. after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. This sinking was one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.
Carrying 2,223 people, 1,514 people perished that night. Her passenger list included some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as over a thousand emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere seeking a new life in North America.
The largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage, the Titanic was one of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line. She was built between 1909–11 by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
Although few photos of the Titanic exist, the photos said to be of the Titanic are actually of her sister ship the Olympic, the tragedy of this fateful voyage would go on to inspire and become subject of countless feature films, documentaries and news stories. Here is just a partial list of the movies based on the Titanic created since 1912:
Saved from the Titanic (1912)
Night to Remember, A (1958)
S.O.S. Titanic (1979)
Raise the Titanic (1980)
No Greater Love (1996)
Titanic: Birth of a Legend (2005)
But was the Titanic actually the ship that sunk? Conspiracy theorists believe otherwise.
Also on this day, 1923: The first sound-on-sound film motion picture was demonstrated for a by-invitation-only audience at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City. The guests saw “The Gavotte”, a man and woman dancing to old-time music and “The Serenade”, four musicians who played on wind, percussion and string instruments. This sound-on-sound film was Dr. Lee DeForest’s Phonofilm,
1894 – Bessie Smith (‘Empress of the Blues’: blues singer: sang with Louis Armstrong in 1925: early version of St. Louis Blues, My Man’s Blues, Dixie Flyer Blues, I Ain’t Got Nobody, A Good Man is Hard to Find, Poor Man’s Blues; died Sep 26, 1937)
1917 – Hans Conried (actor: My Friend Irma, Bus Stop, Oh! God: Book 2, Tut & Tuttle, The Monster that Challenged the World; host: Fractured Flickers TV Series; died Jan 5, 1982)
1933 – Elizabeth Montgomery (actress: Bewitched, Robert Montgomery Presents; died May 18, 1995)
1938 – Claudia Cardinale (actress: The Pink Panther, Once Upon a Time in the West, Jesus of Nazareth, Henry the IV, A Man in Love)
1942 – Julie Sommars (actress: Sex and the Single Parent, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo)
1950 – Amy Wright (actress: The Scarlet Letter, Final Verdict, Crossing Delancey, The Accidental Tourist, Wise Blood, Breaking Away, The Amityville Horror, The Deer Hunter)
1959 – Emma Thompson (Academy Award-winning actress: Howard’s End , Sense and Sensibility, The Remains of the Day, In the Name of the Father, Look Back in Anger, Henry V; screenwriter: Sense and Sensibility; daughter of producer Eric Thompson, actress Phyllida Law; sister of actress Sophie Thompson)