Washington Post receives world’s largest correction letter about the Titanic

Dennis Drabelle received the world’s largest correction letter Wednesday from fifth-graders in Bethesda.

The fifth-graders at Burning Tree Elementary School in Bethesda saw an error in our roundup review of books about the Titanic (published in Outlook April 15 and posted online April 13).

Our reviewer, Dennis Drabelle, a contributing editor at Book World, had referred to the doomed ship hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912. But the fifth-graders knew from their studies that the Titanic struck that deadly iceberg just before midnight on April 14. So, with the help of their teacher, Mrs. Reed, they sent this Titanic-size letter to Drabelle.

They were polite. They were clear. They were right. If only all the complaints came in like this . . .

An unsinkable correction will run in the paper soon.

A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the date the article was published online.

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.


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