by Terri Bey
April 16, 1912- The news of the RMS Titanic's sinking is breaking all over the world. The New York Times's famous headline states "TITANIC SINKS FOUR HOURS AFTER HITTING ICEBERG." In London, newspaper boy Ned Parffet is seen with the famous "Evening News" poster screaming, "TITANIC DISASTER GREAT LOSS OF LIFE." However, in several other papers, there were reports which stated that all passengers were saved and the ship was being towed to Halifax. There were some papers that didn't believe the New York Times report, hence these conflicting reports. The RMS Olympic was being used as a relay station to send messages, so getting the real story out concerning the tragedy was difficult. Even Philip Franklin, President of the White Star Line Offices in New York was optimistic that everything was fine concerning the Titanic until he finally got the tragic news. Franklin said, "I thought her unsinkable and I based my opinion on the best expert advice. I do not understand it."
As the news broke, crowds gathered in front of the New York and Southampton offices of the White Star Line for news of survivors. On the Carpathia, Margaret Brown and several other passengers were collecting funds for passengers.
April 17, 1912- Bruce Ismay's message confirming the disaster reaches the New York offices two days after he sent it. The Carpathia continues to send messages about survivors. The Carpathia encounters fog. The Mackay-Bennett, hired by the White Star Line leaves Halifax, Nova Scotia to pick up bodies. In America, United States Senator William Alden Smith (R-MI) gets approval from a Senate Committee to start an inquiry into the disaster and authorization to subpoena those people who he felt necessary for the inquiry.