A hit movie and a recovered hull section have perpetuated a feeding frenzy of which we are all a part.
At 0220 on 15 April 1912, the new ocean liner RMS Titanic foundered in the North Atlantic after striking a moderate-size iceberg at a speed of 22.5 knots. During the 160 minutes from the collision to the moment the 28° waters closed over her stern railing, nearly every human emotion—unimaginable fear, bravery, stoicism, resignation, and finally uncontrolled panic—played out on her decks. Of the 2,200 passengers and crew on board the ship, more than 1,500 perished in the excruciating agony that accompanies drowning and hypothermia, and 700 survived in far-too-few lifeboats. Over the past 86 years, this event has taken on a larger-than-life character of near-fanatical proportions and certainly ranks at the top of this country's most legendary catastrophes.