A Look at Titanic Through a Few Mariners’ Artifacts

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Poster advertising James Cameron’s Titanic from 1997. The Mariners’ Museum and Park 2012.0007.000031

The year 2022 marks the 110th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic on April 15, 1912, and it is also the 25th anniversary of James Cameron’s movie by the same name. I would like to pay my respect by highlighting a few Titanic-related artifacts that the Museum has in its Collection.

Twenty-five years ago, James Cameron debuted his version of the Titanic story featuring Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet as the fictional and ill-fated lovers, Jack and Rose. The poster depicts the ship’s bow and the embracing stars; the movie title and film details are featured prominently at the bottom. On the back of the poster is a reverse image that was originally designed to be used with a lightbox. Using the lightbox gives the reverse artwork a more life-like appearance when placed behind it. Printing this type of poster was quite expensive and involved running the initial negative through at normal color intensity. It was then reversed and run back through the presses, printing the back at a reduced color intensity.   Read more

The Multicultural Mariner

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With a new year ahead, our team at The Mariners’ Museum and Park is embracing a new theme in our galleries and programs: The Multicultural Mariner. Multiculturalism incorporates ideas, beliefs, and people from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. This theme is built around our mission: we connect people to the world’s waters, because through our waters – through our shared maritime heritage – we are connected to one another. We’re excited to share some of the topics, people, and cultures we plan to highlight throughout the year.

Annual Heritage Months:

There are several periods within the year designated toward recognizing specific ethnic and marginalized groups. We plan to highlight:   Read more

Juneteenth, What’s it all about?

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General Order #3, Headquarters, District of Texas, Galveston, Texas, June 19, 1865, Issued by Order of Major General Granger Juneteenth Order. National Archives 182778372

Tomorrow marks the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest commemoration marking the end of slavery in the United States of America. Frederick Douglass, a former enslaved person himself, even referred to it as the second Independence Day. Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, the word “Juneteenth” is an amalgamation of “June” and the “19th.”. Let’s turn back the hands of time for a moment and look at what happened 156 years ago.

On June 19, 1865, federal troops under Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver an unexpected but welcomed order to the enslaved population living in and around this city located on a barrier island. General Order Number 3 states as follows:    Read more

Forgotten Faces of Titanic: The Widener Family

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man with mustache
“George Dunton Widener Sr.” Find A Grave, 28 Sept. 2005, www.findagrave.com/memorial/11841844/george-dunton-widener.

It has been 109 years since the R.M.S. Titanic, at one point, deemed the “unsinkable ship,” struck an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 2,205 passengers and crew members aboard, only 704 souls survived that fateful night. Passengers came to travel aboard the ship from all over the world, including approximately 300 from America. The Widener family was among this group of Americans.

George, accompanied by his wife, Eleanor, and their adult son, Harry, was returning from a business trip in Europe and had booked 1st class passage aboard Titanic. Traveling along with their two servants, the family was searching for a new chef for a new hotel, The Ritz Carlton, in Philadelphia. George was the president of several railways and streetcar companies in the Philadelphia area. Eleanor, an heiress, was also a well-known philanthropist, while Harry, a graduate of Harvard University, was an avid rare book collector. It has been noted that Harry’s collection was between 3,000 and 3,500 volumes. Some sources claimed that he had dreamed of building his own educational library or institution someday.    Read more

Celebrating 10 years of History Bites

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A woman and man sitting back-to-back
Wisteria Perry and Eric Jeanneret, “Battle of the Ironclad Chefs/History Bites” March 2012 The Mariners’ Museum and Park

It is amazing how a tiny conversation can turn into something big and delicious! Two words…History Bites!

What’s History Bites, you ask? It is a fabulous food event that has served as the finishing touch of the Museum’s annual Commemoration of the Battle of Hampton Roads for the past 10 years! Local restaurants and caterers show off their culinary talents by recreating historical dishes from the time period. The evening is topped off with awards like Best Entree, Best Dessert, People’s Choice, and of course, the crowning honor of the night, the Ironclad Chef Award for Historical Accuracy.   Read more