Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the Titanic exhibit at the Mayborn Museum in Waco, Texas. It is a beautiful museum with lots of interactive designs for children and adults. At the beginning of the Titanic tour, each guest is handed a boarding pass with a name of an actual passenger that was on the ship that fateful trip. Each pass has a little information about who the passenger was and why they were on the Titanic. Mine was Hilda Slater. She was returning from a trip to England where she had purchased her wedding dress and was about to be married when arriving in New York. She was 30 years old and had given up on a singing career funded by her brother for many years with no success. Winding through the exhibit, I couldn't help but think about Hilda, wondering if she survived or not. At the end of the exhibit, guests locate the passenger name on their pass among all the names of survivors and non survivors. The names are on a large wall. The lists are organized by first class, second class, third class, and staff. Looking at the lists visually, helped me see the devastating number of lives that were lost and made them real individual people. My passenger was one of the survivors. The staff had the greatest number of casualties followed by third class passengers who were housed in lower areas of the ship. Such a sad story knowing how easily such a tragedy could have been avoided.
I have seen and read so many books on the Titanic, but this exhibit gave me some new ideas for some creative projects for kids and stories that have not been told, or at least I don't think so. Research will let me know if I am right about that or not.