This map above shows the Titanic's complete journey, starting in Southampton, England, plus her stops in France and Ireland. You can see that the Titanic was more than halfway across the Atlantic Ocean before the iceberg struck. The ship had wrecked on the night of April 14, 1912, and within 3 hours had sunk to bottom of the ocean. On the early morning of April 15th, the Carpathia found the passengers in the lifeboats floating around Titanic's last known location.
This photo shows a small group of the women who were rescued from Titanic, and were now safely aboard the Carpathia. This one-funnel steamer was headed to New York to deliver the 705 Titanic survivors it held.
It was 3 and a half days after the wreck when the Carpathia finally pulled into the docks in New York. By this time, the newspapers had reported every imagineable story that they could think of about the Titanic. If it sounded like an interesting story, they published it for the attention, regardless of the authenticity of the facts. Every day that week had passed with false rumors being written about the Titanic---nobody on land knew the true story yet.
At 9:00pm on the night of the 18th, when the Carpathia came in, at least 40,000 people New Yorkers were waiting for it. Some were family members and friends, hoping against hope that they would be reunited with the people they knew. Others were the reporters, hungry for any detail they would be able to get from the passengers as they disembarked.
If only this ship which was much closer than the Carpathia could have tried to see what was wrong with the Titanic, many more lives could have been saved in time. Many historians have never quite been able to put together the puzzle of why the crew of the Californian, who could actually see the Titanic, did nothing in reaction to the distress rockets. I guess it will just be one of the several mysteries that the Titanic left behind that night of her first, and only, voyage.
The aftermath of the Titanic's wake continues in tomorrow's post.