April 15, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking
I will be in Halifax attending the special anniversary events and blogging
Everyone knows the story. The RMS Titanic was the biggest and most opulent ocean liner ever built. It was deemed to be an unsinkable, floating pleasure palace that attracted the attention of the media, the public and the wealthy, who paid more than $4,000 (equal now to $95,000) to enjoy the luxuries of the first class cabin. On her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, she sank several hours after hitting an iceberg about 600 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland.
Though the Titanic boasted every convenience and amenity — including gymnasiums, a Turkish bath, swimming pools and an astounding amount of silverware — there were only enough lifeboats aboard to save about one-third of the passengers.
Approximately 1,500 souls perished in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912 — stranded in the dark, frigidly cold waters of the north Atlantic; dying a lonely, agonizing death. The 706 people in the nearby lifeboats — who were unsure of their own fate — were haunted for the rest of their lives by the sounds of the great ship’s boilers exploding and the pitiful cries of the doomed passengers and crew members as they died.
Follow me in Halifax for the Titanic anniversary
Many people who are not personally connected to the tragedy, nevertheless also feel haunted by the sinking of the Titanic. Though I am not a “Titaniac,” I have had a life-long fascination with the disaster. As a consequence, I am planning to be in Halifax, Nova Scotia — North America’s only officially designated Titanic city — for the anniversary events on April 13, 14 and 15, 2012. I will be reporting for Vacay.ca and blogging and tweeting about the event, so be sure to follow me at @breathedreamgo on Twitter and the hashtag #VacayTitanic. Read more to find out about the events I will be attending and reporting from. And to find out why I am fascinated by this story, see my blog The Titanic and what it means.
The recovery and rescue operation following the sinking of the Titanic was launched from Halifax, and the city is home to many Titanic-related sites, including a permanent exhibit at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the grave sites of 150 victims. The name of the character Leonardo diCaprio plays in the Titanic movie, Jack Dawson, was inspired by a gravestone for J. Dawson — an Irish coal trimmer named Joseph Dawson who went down with the ship — in one of the Halifax Titanic cemeteries.
The city of Halifax has a lot of events planned to commemorative this tragic chapter in history and you can find out more by visiting their website at Destination Halifax.
On the weekend of April 13-15, I am planning to:
- stay at the Westin Nova Scotian
- tour the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which houses a permanent Titanic exhibit
- visit the Nova Scotia Archives
- tour the Bedford Institute of Oceanography
- have dinner based on a Titanic first-class menu at Five Fishermen and Press Gang
- attend the Night of the Bells ceremony at the Maritime Museum on the evening of April 14
- join a candle-lit procession along the waterfront and observe a moment of silence at 12:20 a.m., when the Titanic began to sink (flares will be set off to symbolize the ship’s call for help)
- attend a Spiritual Ceremony on April 15 at Fairview Lawn Cemetery, where many Titanic victims are buried
I will be publishing a blog with a collection of links, Twitter feeds and hashtags all about the Titanic, and updating it. And a blog about my personal connections with the Titanic. So stay tuned, and follow along.
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