Sea flat calm, no moon, no wind, no swell. On a starlit night of April 14, 1912, the great new White Star liner Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York had brushed an iceberg in the pre-dawn darkness. She brushed the iceberg so gently that many on board the Titanic didn’t notice it.

But in that moment she was instantly doomed. By midnight the Captain Edward J. Smith feared the worst and ordered the lifeboats filled and lowered. There was hardly few of these lifeboats, enough for only a third of the ship’s passengers. Women and children were ordered on the lifeboats first. At 12:15 A.M. the Titanic sent her first rockets high in the air. The band played cheerful music on the Boat Deck. The ship was noticeably sinking fast. As a Boat pulled away, the water lapped the portholes just under the ship’s name.

By 2:05 A.M. the last boat was launched, leaving 1,600 people stranded on the slopping decks. As the water creeped up the grand staircase, the band still played on.

At 2:17 A.M. the Titanic, stood on end. The lights blinked once and went out forever. Everything within the ship broke loose and plunged downward.

At 2:20 A.M. she settled back slightly and slipped beneath the black icy sea. Over 1,500 people were lost in this greatest disaster at sea.