Have you ever heard of the Titanic? It was a huge cruise ship that sank on April 15, 1912. The Titanic was on its first voyage from England to New York. Over 1,500 people died.

At the time, the Titanic was the largest ship in the world. It was 882 feet long, over 100 feet tall, and had 10 levels. Many believed that it could not sink, because it was so well-built.

At the time, the Titanic was considered one of the safest ships. To prevent leaks, its hull had two layers of steel. It also had 16 compartments that could be sealed off using watertight steel doors. If the ship did spring a leak, the doors would close, keeping the ship from sinking.

The ship could carry 2,453 passengers and 900 crew. The first-class area was decorated more like a fancy hotel than a ship. This area even had a swimming pool, gymnasium, barber shop, library, several cafes and even a library.

The Titanic departed from Southampton, England on April 10, 1912. It made several stops before it began its fateful trip across the Atlantic Ocean on April 11, 1912.

Even though the captain was warned about the chance of icebergs in the northern waters, the Titanic continued across the Atlantic at full speed. Sure enough, a giant iceberg was spotted by a lookout in the path of the Titanic on the night of April 14. The captain tried to steer around the iceberg, but it was too late. The iceberg hit the side of the ship.

The Titanic had been designed to withstand almost anything. However, the designers didn't consider what would happen if an iceberg hit the side. As the ship scraped along the side of the iceberg, it ripped several holes into the lower side of the ship. Five of the ships sixteen compartments began to fill with water. As chance would have it, this was too many. The enormous ship slowly began to sink.

The ship's crew began to get people aboard the lifeboats. They quickly discovered that there were not enough lifeboats for all the passengers. The Titanic was designed to carry 32 lifeboats, but there were only 20 on board. Also, in their panic, many of the lifeboats left the Titanic only half full. Women and children were put on the lifeboats first, leaving many fathers and husbands behind on the sinking ship.

The Titanic sank at 2:20 AM on April 15, 1912. It took quite a while for the closest ships to come to the rescue. The waters were very cold and some people who didn't drown ended up dying from exposure to the cold air. While over 700 people did survive, more than 1,500 died.

In September of 1985, 73 years after the Titanic sank, an oceanographer named Robert Ballard found the remains of the Titanic nearly 2 and half miles below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

Lexile: 800-900
Words: 488
Genre: Historical
Read time: 3:13
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Read by: Seth Meyers
Illustration by: Unknown