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The 1910's
The "Unsinkable" Titanic



The "Unsinkable" Titanic
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.27

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dinnerware, mooring, omen, peacetime, unsinkable, assured, mandatory, hearing, luxury, observer, finding, recreate, launched, withstand, watertight, maiden
     content words:    RMS Titanic, White Star Line, Cunard Line, Star Line, From Ireland, New York City, John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, Atlantic Ocean, RMS Carpathia


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The "Unsinkable" Titanic
By Jane Runyon
  

1     It must have been a majestic sight. The RMS Titanic slipped out of its berth in Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912. It was the maiden voyage of this colossal luxury liner said to be the largest and safest vessel on the seas. The pull of its powerful propellers almost caused an accident before it ever left the harbor. Another ship was pulled from its mooring and came dangerously close to hitting the Titanic. You might say this was an omen of events to come.
 
2     The Titanic was supposed to be better than anything you could imagine a ship to be. Where most luxury liners had three smoke stacks, the Titanic had four. It stood sixty feet above the water line. It weighed 46,328 tons. The second class cabins on board ship were better than the first class cabins on other liners. The first class cabins on the Titanic were beyond anything that had ever been seen on a ship. The ship boasted a swimming pool, gymnasium, Turkish bath, library, and squash court. Wood paneling graced the walls. A grand staircase topped by a glass dome to let in natural light delighted even the common observer.
 
3     This ship was a dream come true for the designers and owners of the ship, the White Star Line. For years, the Cunard Line had outdone the White Star Line with its ships. The Mauritania and the Lusitania had for years ruled the seas. The White Star Line planned to rule the luxury liner business with three ships: the Olympic, the Titanic, and the Britannic.
 
4     After the Titanic left England, it sailed to Cherbourg, France, where it took on more passengers. From there it sailed for Queenstown, Ireland. If you were to look at a map today, Queenstown would be named Cobb. From Ireland, the Titanic was to sail to New York City. The ship carried 2,223 people.
 
5     Third class on the ship was called steerage. The passengers in this section were mostly immigrants sailing to America to find a better life. The steerage cabins were fairly small and located on the lower decks of the ship. The second class cabins were occupied by first class passengers from other ships. These passengers had switched their reservations when a coal strike had shut down passage on many other liners. First class cabins were filled with a "who's who" of important people of the day. Millionaires such as John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim had booked passage for themselves and their families. Business executives, journalists, actresses, socialites, authors, government officials, and theater producers were on the passenger list. Two of the ship's builders were on board to make sure that no problems were found.

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The 1910's
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