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Titanic leaves Southampton on April 10, 1912

April 10, 2012

The Titanic prepares to leave the port at Southampton in its way to Ireland, April 10, 1912.

100 years ago today, the world’s most famous in modern times left port in Southampton, England, loaded with cargo and passengers.

Titanic would make one final stop at Queenstown, Ireland, before heading out on her maiden voyage with over 2,000 people on board.

Widely spoken about at the time as an “unsinkable” ship, many were eager to get on board and sail on her first voyage. That included some of the world’s most wealthy people. They also happen to be the most well-known of all passengers aboard.

Mr. and Mrs. Isidor-Strauss, part owners of Macy’s, are famous because Mrs. Strauss decided to stay behind with her husband. Neither survived the sinking. Then there was the “unsinkable Molly Brown,” John Jacob Astor IV, among others. Their tickets cost more than the stewards and assistants on board would be able to save in years.

Not all passengers, however, travelled in first class. There were a good number of people in the more modest second class cabins. One such passenger was Eva Hart, a young girl travelling with her family at the time. She and many others were not looking for a luxury cruise; they were searching for a better life. She was well-known in later years for her interviews and the fact that she was one of the oldest survivors, dying in 1996.

Though there were similar stories for third class passengers, they are not spoken about as much.

Titanic leaving Southampton, England before stopping in Ireland. April 10, 1912. AP

Many were Irish immigrants, most of whom are unknown to the public. The role of the Irish in the construction of the ship was pivotal. The ship was built in Belfast alongside the other great sister ships.

In our coverage on this 100th anniversary, we shall look at the demographics of the passengers, and discuss the role class played in the rates of surviving the sinking.

Civis Journal

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