38. The owners of the Titanic didn’t officially name or ‘christen’ the ship – they thought it would bring bad luck!
The Titanic was officially launched on 31 May 1931. The local Belfast news reported that a crowd of up to 100,000 people were there to see the monumental event, among them the White Star Line owners and local dignitaries. Some 20 tonnes of soap were needed to grease the slipway to help the huge vessel glide slowly down into the deep waters of the River Lagan. Notably, the company had a superstition of not ‘christening’ its ships with a champagne bottle smashed against the hull. They also refused to give the Titanic its name until it was ready for passengers – to do so was considered bad luck.