This day in Wall Street history: Titanic sinks on maiden voyage

The majestic Titanic sank on her maiden voyage from England to New York in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

The ship was carrying only enough lifeboats for 1,178 people, about half of the number on board. In total, more than 1,500 people died in the disaster, which sparked shock and outrage around the world at the enormous loss of life.

The Titanic was the second of three Olympic class liners, the first was the RMS Olympic and the third was the HMHS British. These were the largest ships of the British shipping company White Star Line, and the Titanic was the largest ship afloat when it entered service. It was considered at the time to be the pinnacle of luxury travel.

White Star invested two years and $ 174 million in today’s currency to build the ship. A first class ticket would cost around $ 80,000 today, $ 1,375 in second class, and $ 350 to $ 900 in third class.

Despite its losses, the company retained a significant grip on shipping markets around the world before falling into decline during the Great Depression. The American Immigration Act of 1924 and the Great Depression affected the profits of shipping companies.

Some survivors sued the White Star Line for damage related to loss of life and baggage; the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the company.

The Radio Act of 1912 was passed to regulate the use of certain bandwidths between the US Navy and amateur radio operators. The International Ice Patrol (IIP) was created. In response to the disaster, the hulls of the ships were reinforced to prevent them from being punctured and inundated by objects such as icebergs.

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