Chances are you’ve heard yesterday marked 100 years since the Titanic sunk in the Atlantic. There’s a cover story in the current issue of National Geographic, an array of television specials aired over the weekend, a memorial cruise sailed to the wreck site and let’s not forget all the commercials for James Cameron’s 3D re-release of his 1997 blockbuster. But Wednesday is also an important date in the history of the doomed Royal Mail Ship. On April 18, 1912, those who survived the sinking finally arrived at their destination in New York City.
The RMS Carpathia had departed with its own passengers from New York a week earlier, on its way to what is now Croatia. But after receiving distress calls on the night of the 15th, it rescued survivors from the Titanic, and some of their lifeboats, before turning around and carrying them back to Manhattan.
Newspapers had already published reports of the sinking thanks to wireless ship-to-shore communication. Fatalities were expected, but few details were known. That is, until the evening of April 18, when the Carpathia docked at Pier 54 on the Hudson River.
More than 1,500 passengers and crew were lost when the Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage. Only about 700 completed the trip.