"TITANIC launched at Belfast, Ireland"
May 31st, 1911 was a very exciting day at the Belfast shipyard of Harland & Wolff, Ltd. The second huge ship in the three ship trio of super liners, R.M.S. (Royal Mail Steamer) Titanic was sent down the launch ways shortly past noon.
Thousands were present to witness this grand event. Officials of the White Star Line, yard officials, workers and their families were on hand to wish the new ship God-speed. J.P. Morgan, the American financier who now owned a controling interest in the White Star Line and provided the financing to build the new ships was present as well.
Also on hand was Titanic's sistership Olympic. She was newly completed and was ready to begin her career on the express North Atlantic route to America. Olympic would begin her maiden voyage from Southampton, England in early June 1911.
Contrary to popular belief - the ships of White Star Line were never christened with chanpagne. As one yard worker commented at the time "We just builds 'em and shoves 'em in the water!". Perhaps an omen of bad luck..?
After the launch Titanic would require another ten months to be totally completed and fitted out. Her maiden voyage was scheduled for March 20th, 1912.
The keel of the third giant vessel to be named Gigantic, would be laid down next to where Titanic was just launched.