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In a literary event of Titanic proportions, ten authors of Titanic related books were on hand at the titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge for the inaugural Titanic Authors Book Signing event April 1-7.
The youngest of the authors was 11-year-old Luke Copas, author of “Facts for Kids About the Children of the Titanic.” The book was written to honor the memory of the more than 100 children on board the ill-fated vessel.
Julie Hedgepeth Williams dressed in period attire in remembrance of her great-aunt, Sylvia Caldwell, whom she wrote about in “A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells Story of Survival.”
Among other authors on hand were Daniel Allen Butler, author of “The Other Side of the Night” and Allan Wolf author of “The Watch that ends the Night.”
The authors were scattered throughout the museum at tables strategically located from the entrance to the gift shop where Lee Meredith signed copies of his book “1912 Facts about the Titanic.” Meredith has authored several books about the Titanic.
Hundreds of Titanic enthusiasts perused the museum and met with the authors to discuss their books and hear the stories of the survivors and of those that went down with the ship.
11-year-old Luke Copas was the youngest of 10 authors to sign copies of their books at the first annual Titanic Authors Week at the Titanic Museum.
Julie Hedgepeth Williams dressed in period attire in remembrance of her Great Aunt Sylvia.
Lee Meredith has authored several books about the Titanic.
Daniel Allan Butler is the author of "The Other Side of the Night."
The Caldwell family on board the Titanic
Julie Hedgepeth Williams grew up hearing the stories of survival on the Titanic. She was privileged to hear first-hand accounts from her great-uncle who survived the maritime disaster. Those stories are chronicled in her book “A Rare Titanic family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival.”
The Caldwells are described as rare because of the fact that as few as one in four families survived intact without losing a member. The Caldwells were one such family. What emerges from Williams’ book is a tale unlike any other. Her “Uncle Al,” as she called Albert Caldwell, had a fresh perspective of the catastrophe. He saw the tragedy as a triumph of sorts and as a success story in that so many people survived. His views were a stark contrast to anything written previously. His optimistic perspective explains the allure of the Titanic more than 100 years after it slipped into its watery grave after striking an iceberg.
“Up until the Titanic sank there were never any stories of survival when people were shipwrecked far from shore. It was extremely rare that you read of survivors so far out into the ocean,” said Williams. “On the Titanic there were 700 survivors who were saved because the radio had been invented and the Titanic could call for help. There were 700 stories to be told. The Titanic was carrying the elite of the era. These were society’s wealthy and elite. It would be like many of the stars of Hollywood dying in a single incident today. That added to the allure of the shipwreck.”
Albert Caldwell was a missionary that traveled with his wife, Sylvia, to Siam, where their infant son was born. Due to health reasons, the young couple left Siam and made their way to England, where they boarded the Titanic. Hot on their heels were fellow missionaries that wanted them to return to Siam. They were convinced the couple was attempting to renege on their contract at a great cost to the church. Following the tragic sinking, the Caldwells made it safely to New York, where they were again confronted by the missionaries.
Williams will be among more than 10 authors that will be on hand at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge for the first ever Titanic Authors Signing Week. Williams’ book, published by New South Books, may be purchased at the museum or online at Amazon.com or from www.newsouthbooks.com.
More than 10 authors, all of whom have written extensively about the Titanic, will be on hand to sign books and meet with the public.
Williams’ book is a compelling page turner and a first-hand account that will keep the reader ensconced. The book contains rare photos previously unpublished that she retrieved from her family archives.
Albert died when Julie Williams was in her late teens. She and her siblings grew up frequently hearing the Titanic story from him. An audio file of Albert speaking about the Titanic is on Williams’ web page, at: https://sites.google.com/site/raretitanicfamily/listen-to-the-story/audio-of-interest
For more information about the signing visit the Titanic web Site at http://www.titanicpigeonforge.com/.
The Titanic Museum observed the 100th anniversary of the sinking Saturday with the descendants of passengers.
Thousands converged Saturday at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge to pay homage to more than 1,500 passengers who died one fateful night exactly 100 years ago when the Titanic struck an ice berg and sank into the icy depths of the North Atlantic taking with it two thirds the ship’s passengers.
Many of those in attendance of the observance of the 100 year anniversary were descendants of the passengers, both survivors and victims of the tragedy. Many reflected on the lives of their ancestors, whom they know only from stories passed down through the generations, and the significance of the catastrophe that became part of seafaring lore.
Among those descendants was Joyce Archer Sons, the granddaughter of Ernest Archer, and Steve Sons, a great-grandson. Archer was a member of the crew that helped numerous passengers escape the sinking vessel. Archer was wet as the night air turned frigid and his hands froze to the oar of the life boat he was rowing.
“His hands were frozen to the oar when he was pulled out of the life boat by crew members on the Carpathia,” Sons said. He was an able seaman who was in charge of the life boats. Years later, he was on the Lusitania when it sank and on the Britannia when it went down. He died in 1917 of tuberculosis.”
Several reflected on the historical accuracy of block buster movie “Titanic” which was directed by James Cameron. At least one expressed chagrin for the film.
“I think Kathy Bates did a great job with the script she had to work with,” said Helen Benziger, great-grand-daughter of Margaret Brown who became immortalized as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
“Her name was Margaret not Mollie. Hollywood created that name. She was not the rough and uneducated woman she has been portrayed as. She was an intelligent woman who spoke five languages and ran for the senate eight years before women were allowed to vote.”
Some of the descendants perused the collection seeking to discover how their ancestors lived in their final days and how they died. For many the walk through the museum was particularly emotional.
“I can’t watch the movie Titanic,” said Barbara Gurgan, great-great granddaughter of Isadore and Ida Straus. “These were my flesh and blood. I can just imagine how it felt in that icy, cold water. They are my heroes. I look up to their love and integrity. The way they died was a testament to how they lived. They were devoted to one another and always made choices to help others.”
On the night the Titanic sank, Isadore and Ida Straus approached a life boat where a crewman asked them to board the small boat. Strauss refused to board and told the crewman “I won’t leave as long as women and children are on board.” He selflessly gave his seat to a woman fleeing the sinking ship. When Ida saw her husband on board the ship she stepped out of the life boat and gave her seat to her maid. She then gave her mink coat to the maid and told her “I won’t be needing this anymore.” Ida chose to remain onboard the ship in the arms of the man she loved and the two died together.
“When their maid arrived in New York she went to the home of Ida and Isadore’s daughter, Sarah, to return the coat,” great-grandson Paul Kurzman said. “She gave the coat back to the maid and told her to keep it and remember her mother with the coat.
“ At the time the Titanic was considered the fastest ship and though to be almost unsinkable. Man will never be a match for Mother Nature. The fact that Isadore thought differently gives a sense of humility. To this day I think of what I might have done in my life that would make Isadore and Ida proud.
The Descendants of Isadore and Ida Straus, Paul Kurzman and Barbara Gurgan
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. and BRANSON, Mo. – February 15, 2012 – Titanic Museum Attractions is hosting “A Night to Remember: An Original Musical Tribute to Titanic,” on Saturday, April 14, the 100th anniversary of the night the ship struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage. 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. The musical tribute will begin at noon (Central) on April 14 at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Missouri, and at 8:30 p.m. (Eastern) the same day at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Tickets for the unique historical tribute are available beginning Monday, February 20, by calling 800-381-7670.
“There will be ceremonies across the globe to commemorate the Titanic centennial on April 14, but the only place in the United States where guests can attend a formal tribute is at one of the Titanic Museum Attractions,” said John Joslyn, co-owner of Titanic Museum Attractions and co-leader of the first private expedition to visit the ship’s final resting place on the ocean floor.
“A Night to Remember” will use choirs, orchestras and musical theater performances to bring the stories and drama of that fateful night to life for those attending the one-time only tribute.
“From folk ballads to modern pop, people have always used music as a way to commemorate historic events,” said Joslyn. “Titanic was memorialized in song before and after her sinking, so a tribute centered on music seemed an appropriate way to pay our respects.”
Adding to the historic occasion, descendants of people aboard the Titanic’s maiden voyage will also be present at the American tributes. The ceremony will conclude with a symbolic reenactment of the launching of Titanic’s distress flares and the lighting of a memorial flame at the bow of the ship to honor the 2,208 people aboard Titanic.
“The anniversary will be commemorated around the world in television, film, and print,” said Josyln. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for people to be more than passive witnesses to the anniversary. ‘A Night to Remember’ gives the audience a chance to actually be a part of the historic event and part of the community dedicated to preserving Titanic’s legacy.”
Tickets to “A Night to Remember: An Original Musical Tribute to Titanic” are available through the Titanic Museum Attractions in Missouri and Tennessee. Visitors may purchase tickets by phone at (800) 381-7670 beginning February 20, 2012. In addition to museum admission and the musical production, ticket holders will receive limited edition memorials dedicated to the ship’s history, including a DVD containing video tributes of the personal stories of selected passengers and crew.
The Titanic Museum Attractions are located in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Together, the two museums represent the largest permanent monuments in the world dedicated to the memory of Titanic. The museums, immediately recognizable for their ship-shape design, are home to hundreds of artifacts from the ship and its survivors. “Passengers” experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase of the Titanic while surrounded by artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the ship’s history and fate.
Since its opening in 2006, Titanic Branson has welcomed more than 5 million “passengers” aboard the museum. Titanic Pigeon Forge opened in 2010 and has already welcomed 2 million visitors. For additional information about the museums, visit www.titanicattraction.com
The Titanic Museum became a veritable winter wonderland Saturday as ice sculptors from around the world competed in the second annual ice sculpture contest.
These two pieces were created in less than 15 minutes as a demonstration of speed sculpting.
Patrons could literally "chill" while having their photos taken in this life size chair carved with the Titanic logo.
Historic romance, unprecedented drama, exquisite luxury and first-class treatment were all part of the RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage 100 years ago in 1912. These are also the words being used to describe the brand new, exclusive Titanic Jewelry Collection debuting on Jewelry Television® through a new partnership between the two companies.
Beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, Titanic Museum Attraction and Jewelry Television will launch an exclusive line of high-quality jewelry, reminiscent of the kinds of pieces actually on the ship’s maiden voyage 100 years ago. Each of the 20 designs in the initial collection is named in honor of actual passengers aboard the Titanic, and are available only through Jewelry Television and JTV.com. Jaynee, the Titanic Museum Attraction’s First Class Maid, will host the hour-long show and share the fascinating true stories of the amazing women the jewelry collection honors.
“We know that the 100 Year Anniversary of the Titanic’s maiden voyage is going to draw unprecedented world-wide attention this year,” said Dan Chase, Vice President of Merchandising for Jewelry Television.
“This is a perfect partnership between the world’s most respected Titanic museum attraction and one of the world’s top jewelry retailers. We are so excited to have this new, exclusive line of the Titanic Jewelry Collection available to our customers.”
This is a must-see show on Jewelry Television for anyone who is fascinated by the story of the Titanic or the fashion of that era. For four magical days, the Titanic’s elite passengers reveled in every modern luxury known at the time. Not only was it the most impressive ship of it’s time – draped in every luxury imaginable – but so were its passengers. The women of the Titanic planned for months, just to bring the right fashionable apparel aboard the luxurious ship. Along with extensive outfit planning came the accessories – large hats, mink stoles, gloves and of course the jewelry. Jewelry of that time was depictive of the Art Nouveau, Edwardian, and Victorian eras.
The story of the RMS Titanic has remained a constant focus of interest around the world for the past century. With passengers ranging from some of the most well-known and wealthiest celebrities and business leaders of the time to everyday working class men and women who invested their life savings for a third-class ticket, people from all walks of life were thrown side-by-side into one of history’s most dramatic events. The events of that voyage brought about amazing acts of heroism and self-sacrifice that still mesmerize people today.
Each item in the collection is inspired by an actual Titanic passenger. Examples include “Dorothy Gibson’s American Beauty Rose”, “Madeleine Astor’s Edwardian Princess Collection”, and “Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon’s Couture Cameo Collection”. Viewers will hear the actual stories – some for the first time ever – of each woman who inspired the jewelry designs during the Jewelry Television broadcasts, which will also be available on JTV.com.
One Century Ago
This year is the most significant milestone since the RMS Titanic – the largest movable manmade object on the face of the planet at the time – set sail in 1912, and it is a story that continues to fascinate the entire world. In April 2012, it will have been 100 years since the Titanic launched its maiden voyage and embarked with its iconic passengers on a journey of adventure and elegance. The launch of the new Titanic Jewelry Collection is just one more way we keep their stories alive by telling them to a new generation.
As the whole world remembers the world’s most famous luxury liner, Titanic Museum Attractions will continue to open the door to the past in it’s one-of-a-kind way – letting “passengers” experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase of the Titanic while surrounded by more than 400 artifacts directly from the ship and its passengers. As visitors touch a real iceberg, walk the Grand Staircase and third class hallways, reach their hands into 28-degree water, and try to stand on the sloping decks, they learn what it was like on the RMS Titanic by experiencing it first-hand.
Each and every day, Titanic Museum Attractions provides a gateway to 1912, where First Class Maids and a variety of Officers and crew members bring the stories of the fabled ship and its fascinating passengers to life by retelling their stories in vivid, dramatic detail. The priceless artifacts throughout the museum shed additional light on the lives of those passengers and crew members when guests see the actual belongings of those on board and artifacts that sailed on Titanic’s maiden voyage.
Since 1993, Knoxville, Tennessee-based Jewelry Television’s mission has been to open the world of fine jewelry and gemstones to everyone. As the largest retailer of loose gemstones and one of the top four electronic jewelry retailers in the United States, Jewelry Television has the fine jewelry and gemstones buyers are searching for.
Anyone with access to a computer has access to Jewelry Television 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit the Airing Now page to view all the items in a show, new and featured items, view the turntables, or even watch the live broadcast. The Channel Finder will tell viewers where they can watch Jewelry Television in their area.
Shopping online with Jewelry Television is easy, fast and convenient and offers many different payment options. Take advantage of BillMeLater® , PayPal, or apply for the JTV Preferred Account private label credit card. Jewelry Television also accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover, as well as debit cards backed by those companies. Viewers can also visit www.TitanicAttraction.com for more information