Belfast is marking 100 years since the launch of the most famous vessel ever built at the city's shipyards—the RMS Titanic. After three years in construction at the Harland & Wolff shipyard, the Titanic sailed out into Belfast Lough on May 31, 1911. On April 15, 1912, the luxury liner advertised as "practically unsinkable" sank after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York. More than 1,500 of the 2,200 people aboard died.
The launch anniversary will be marked today with a dockside religious service and the opening of a Titanic exhibition. For decades Belfast shied away from advertising its link with the disaster, but recently the city has embraced the ship, even developing the "Titanic Quarter" retail and residential district. (Click to read about the 2009 death of Titanic's last survivor, Millvina Dean.)