Empire of the Air

The Titanic Disaster

On Sunday, April 14, 1912, the Titanic’s distress signals were heard by a nearby ship, allowing passengers in lifeboats to be rescued. Federal law soon required that all large ocean-going vessels to be equipped with wireless for safety reasons. David Sarnoff noted that the Titanic disaster “brought radio to the front.”

Episode

3m 16s

More to Explore from Empire of the Air

  • Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio

    S1 E1 - 1h 51m

    For 50 years radio dominated the airwaves and the American consciousness as the first “mass medium.” In Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, Ken Burns examines the lives of three extraordinary men who shared the primary responsibility for this invention and its early success, and whose genius, friendship, rivalry and enmity interacted in tragic ways.

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.