Tuesday was a dreary and cold day. The high was 37 and it rained the entire day. It was a very fitting setting for the exhibit we visited at the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa about The Titanic. If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend that you go. It’s a traveling exhibit, so watch for it in your area if you aren’t from Eastern Iowa.
Our visit was organized by our Homeschool Assistance Program. It included a live production of “period” actors reading survivor testimonies to Congress, an IMAX movie, and “admission” to The Titanic. My kids were a little young for the survivor testimonies, but I thought they were really interesting. They LOVED the movie though, which focused on the under water adventures of scientists, marine biologists, and historians diving to the wreckage and exploring the remains on the ship on the ocean floor. And they enjoyed looking at the artifacts salvaged from the ocean.
After the movie, we boarded The Titanic. We were given tickets with names of real passengers and information such as age, occupation, and class on the ship. The exhibit featured artifacts taken from the wreckage as well as mock-ups of the different types of cabins the passengers stayed in, menus of the food they ate, and the dishes they used. At the end, we could check the boards to see if we survived or perished. Interestingly, Anna and Grandma (3rd class passengers), and Cora & I (2nd class passengers) survived, but Ben (also 2nd class) did not. Given the odds, Anna and Grandma shouldn’t have made it either, but they did. I probably shouldn’t have told the truth about his person because he was crushed. He’s such a good kid and he LOVES everything Titanic. He was really sad to find out that “he” didn’t make it.
We tried to explain to him at supper that night that it was because of chivalry that “he” died when he asked why the women and children were put into the lifeboats first. “What’s chivalry?” he asked. As a feminist, that’s a tough one for me to explain. My hubby piped up and said, “the children survived because they represent the future. The women survived because they are usually the best people to take care of the children.” I guess that’s an okay response – better than anything I could have come up with. Ben asked if it’s because women are more responsible than men and that made me laugh! He seemed satisfied with Dan’s answer, so we left it at that.
Anyhow, we had a great day and as I said, if you get the chance, you should see this exhibit. It was fascinating!!