On April 15th, 2012, the world will commemorate one of the most horrific maritime accidents to have ever occurred. At about 11:30 on the evening of April 14, 1912, Titanic collided with destiny in the form of an iceberg that at first seemed to graze her side but in actually had basically disemboweled the gargantuan ship on her maiden voyage from London to New York. More than 1500 people lost their lives that night and world has been enthralled with the story ever since.
Museums around the globe will honor those lost and the effect the sinking has had o maritime travel with displays dedicated to the RMS Titanic, her passengers and crews and the shipping industry in general. One such Museum, of interest to those in southern Illinois is the Titanic Branson, a museum that is the culmination of the life work of founder and Titanic enthusiast, John Joslyn.
His vision is to let visitors experience what it was like to stroll the decks of the majestic ship. His participation in the 1989 exploration of actual sunken Titanic netted hours and hours of footage, much of it used to make television specials and more of it available to see at the museum, as well as one of the largest Titanic artifact collections in the world.
Visitors can climb a replica of ship’s Grand Staircase, similar to the one depicted in James Cameron’s ”Titanic” film. Other hands on experiences include holding the captain’s wheel on the bridge, tapping out messages using a wireless radio like the one used by Titanic operators, experiencing the chill of an iceberg, and strolling decks and galleries while listening to recorded stories as told by actual survivors.
The museum will host special events throughout the year but one of particular note is the Titanic Branson Presents “A Night to Remember: An Original Musical Tribute to Titanic.” The event is being held Saturday, April 14thThe evening is described as:
Musical performances, historic ceremonies and appearances by actual descendants of Titanic’s passengers and crew will highlight the production honoring the 2,208 people aboard the ship.”
Call 800-381-7670 for more information about this event or visit the website to learn about other events throughout the year.
Southern Illinois residents can make the 5+ our trip by taking Interstate 57 south, crossing into Missouri and merging with US 60 for about 177 miles. Next, merge onto US 65 South towards Branson and follow it for 34.5 miles. Take the MO-76/76 Country Blvd/Main St exit toward US-65-BR. Turn left onto W Main St/MO-76/W 76 Country Blvd. Continue to follow MO-76/W 76 Country Blvd. to the museum at 3235 West 76 Country Boulevard Branson, MO.
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