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"Only a vestige remains of the men and women that but a moment before quickened her spacious apartments with human hopes and passions, sorrows, and joys. Upon that broken hull new vows were taken, new fealty expressed, old love renewed, and those who had been devoted in friendship and companions in life went proudly and defiantly on the last life pilgrimage together. In such a heritage we must feel ourselves more intimately related to the sea than ever before, and henceforth it will send back to us on its rising tide the cheering salutations from those we have lost." - Senator William A. Smith, Chairman of the Subcommittee appointed for the United States Senate Inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic
Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest ship in the world, hit an iceberg, setting in motion a chain of events that would ultimately make it history's most famous, and notorious, ship. In the century since it sank on its maiden voyage, the Titanic has been the subject of endless fascination, as evidenced by the efforts to find its final resting spot, the museums full of its objects, and the countless books, documentaries, and movies made about the doomed ocean liner. Thanks to the undying interest in the story, millions of people are familiar with various aspects of the ship's demise. The sinking of the ship is still nearly as controversial now as it was over 100 years ago, and the drama is just as compelling.Naturally, the intense interest in the Titanic also meant that there would be great efforts made to locate the wreck. In fact, the first searches for the wreck began in the days after the giant ship went down, but given how far down it sank to the floor of the Atlantic and the fact that the ship had inaccurately transmitted its location shortly before it sank, initial efforts were doomed.