The world’s most luxurious ocean liner, described as a floating hotel set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton in the United Kingdom in 1912. Variously described as the “Ship of Dreams,” “Wonder Ship,” “Last Word in Luxury,” and “Millionaire’s Special,” the Titanic had a number of unique features, including a hospital with an operating room, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a squash court, a Turkish bath and two separate libraries. The most expensive First Class Parlor ticket to New York was $4,350 – about $69,600 today. But it wasn’t all glamor and glitz: third-class accommodations serving more than 700 passengers had only two bathtubs—one for men and one for women.
Unsinkable? A publicity brochure produced in 1910 for the Titanic and its twin ship Olympic stated that the vessels were designed to be unsinkable. The owners, the White Star Line, later insisted that that did not mean it was claimed to be unsinkable, just that it was designed that way.
Four days after its Southampton departure, the British passenger liner carrying 2,224 passengers and crew collided with an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. More than 1,500 lives were lost.
Among the many legacies of the tragedy is the phrase ‘re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic’ – meaning an exercise in futility.
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.” ― Erma Bombeck
On this day in 1985, Lancelot the Unicorn who had been touring with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus — famous for outlandish attractions — was exposed as a fraud. Audiences were appalled to learn that Lancelot wasn’t a real unicorn at all, just a goat with a horn surgically attached to its forehead.