One-hundred years ago today, the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the middle of the North Atlantic, cutting a gaping hole in the ship’s side that would send it, just a few hours later, spiraling to the ocean floor. The Titanic has rested there for a century, but here in New England, several local buildings, organizations and individuals pay tribute to the ship’s memory, ensuring that its legacy lives on long after the last of its survivors.
In Springfield, Massachusetts, Edward Kamuda founded the first Titanic Historical Society, and operates the Titanic Museum, which boasts over 2,000 artifacts from the Titanic and her legacy. While Kamuda, himself, has no personal connection to the Titanic, he spent 50 years collecting blueprints, life jackets, movie posters, postcards, menus and even a tooth that all relate to the ship’s rich history and influence on popular culture.
Harvard University’s Widener Library was built in memory of Harvard-grad Harry Elkins Widener, who died on the Titanic, along with his father, at age 27. His mother, Eleanor Elkins Widener donated $2 million to have the library built in honor of her family. Today, the Widener Library boasts 57 miles of book, 3,300 of which were collected by Harry Elkins Widener during his short life.
As we reported last month, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Massachusetts, recently completed the most comprehensive map of the entire wreckage site of the Titanic. Using robots called autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), the 2010 expedition dived 2.5 miles beneath the ocean’s surface, and moving at 3 miles per hour, traveled the ocean floor to snap 100,000 photos of the Titanic’s ruins. Check out the stunning photos here.
Earlier this week, the Coast Guard departed from Boston Harbor to make the journey to the last known location of the ship in the Atlantic. In memory of the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the Coast Guard will scatter 1.5 million dried rose petals into the ocean where 1,500 people lost their lives a century ago.
Tonight, the Omni Parker House is hosting a 10-course dinner extravaganza with a menu paying tribute to the cuisine served on the ship. The price comes in at $95, but with courses like Oyster ŕ la Russe & Oyster Rockefeller, Sauté of Chicken and Asparagus Vinaigrette Pâté de Fois Gras, it’s a small price to pay to dine like First Class passengers.
Down in Connecticut, the Mystic Aquarium is hosting a Titanic exhibit, featuring the underwater vehicles used to discover the Titanic, replicas of artifacts from the ship itself, and an iceberg that’s cold to the touch, mimicking the freezing waters the ship’s passengers experienced 100 years ago today.
Of course, I’m paying my own personal tribute to the Titanic by sitting inside and watching Leo and Kate on repeat today.