The front page of The New York Times from April 16, 1912, the day after the Titanic sank after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.Credit…The New York Times

The Titanic was en route to New York on its maiden voyage when it struck an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912. The sinking was front-page news around the world, including in The New York Times. Here is a portion of The Times’s coverage, as it was written that day. The digital version of the paper from that day can be viewed here.

The admission that the Titanic, the biggest steamship in the world, had been sunk by an iceberg and had gone to the bottom of the Atlantic, probably carrying more than 1,400 of her passengers and crew with her, was made at the White Star Line offices, 9 Broadway, at 8:20 o’clock last night.

Then P.A.S. Franklin, Vice President and General Manager of the International Mercantile Marine, conceded that probably only those passengers who were picked up by the Cunarder Carpathia had been saved. Advices received early this morning tended to increase the number of survivers by 200.

The admission followed a day in which the White Star Line officials had been optimistic in the extreme. At no time was the admission made that every one aboard the huge steamer was not safe. The ship itself, it was confidently asserted, was unsinkable, and inquirers were informed that she would reach port, under her own steam probably, but surely with the help of the Allan liner Virginian, which was reported to be towing her.

As the day passed, however, with no new authentic reports from the Titanic or any of the ships were known to have responded to her wireless call for help, it became apparent that authentic news of the disaster probably could come only from the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic.

The wireless range of the Olympic is 500 miles. That of the Carpathia, the Parisian, and the Virginian is much less, and as they neared the position of the Titanic they drew further and further out of shore range. From the Titanic’s position at the time of the disaster it is doubtful if any of the ships except the Olympic could establish communication with shore.


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