So, it's apparently news to the youth of today that Titanic was actually a real ship and it really did sink. I was alerted to this heinous lack of education by an article at Irish Central, who has an image of a twitter stream from the painfully oblivious youth of today.
Thankfully we have the 100th anniversary of the real sinking of the real Titanic to grant our children the knowledge they are missing.
With museums opening in both Belfast- where Titanic was built- and Southampton- her home port-exhibits and memorials in Europe and the US, it seems 2012 is the year of the Titanic.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at Union Station in Kansas City
If you're not able to get to Belfast, but you can make it to Kansas City, I highly recommend Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition going on through Labor Day at Union Station. Real artifacts from the doomed ocean liner, combined with real stories – some funny, some ironic, and all tragic – come together on the 100th anniversary of the sinking to create a memorial worth visiting.
As you begin your journey you are handed a boarding pass. This is your identity as you make your way through the exhibit. This added dimension gives a more personal feel to what could otherwise be a detached experience.
The exhibit takes you from the birth of the idea for the largest, most grand ship to sail the Atlantic, through the drawing room at Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, across the Celtic Sea to Southampton where she was so extravagantly outfitted and, finally to her first, and final, voyage.
Artifacts are on view throughout the exhibit, paired with personal stories of the people who booked passage, as well as those who made their living on board the most incredible ship ever built.
At the end of the exhibit is a wall with the name of every person, passenger or crew member, who sailed on the Titanic. As you search for your name you can almost imagine what friends and relatives of those who were on the ship felt as they scoured newspapers every day for the names of loved ones.