The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Best of Branson

April 13, 2012

Branson museum to honor Titanic victims, survivors

BRANSON Mo. — Mary Kellogg knew that interest in the 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage -- and demise -- would have wide appeal.

“I told everybody (on the staff) when I started working on this two years ago, that no one realized how big it would be,” the Branson museum and attraction’s co-owner said. “People are interested in information about the Titanic and her passengers and crew. It is amazing.”

Read and view additional Globe and CNHI News Service Titanic coverage here.

During the last couple of months, Kellogg -- who owns the ship-shaped museum with husband John Joslyn -- has shared her knowledge of the White Star Line’s infamous liner with hundreds of journalists from around the world.

“It’s a whirlwind for us,” Kellog said. “I said to somebody two weeks ago that I feel like I’m on a roller coaster and it just keeps getting faster and faster.”

Kellogg’s crew and a cast of hundreds will share “A Night to Remember,” a special commemoration of Titanic’s passengers, crew and descendants, at noon Saturday. Titanic Museum Attraction, 3235 West Highway 76, is the site of the event. Parking is off-site with a shuttle running guests from White Water parking area to the event.

The reservation-only event includes the Springfield Symphony, Evangel University Choir, the Sings His Praises Children’s Choir. A 40-nation flag ceremony, lighting of an eternal flame and poem dedicated to the “Third Class (passengers) in 1912” fills out the program. Recognition of descendants of Titanic passengers and crew and Jaynee Peters’ rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” cap the event.

“‘A Night to Remember’ will be a total tribute and memorial service to the passengers that were aboard this ship,” Kellogg said. “We have six descendants.”

Kellogg said that only one direct descendant remains -- the daughter of a second-class passenger who was 17 years old traveling from Sweden.

“She did survive and she had a daughter and the daughter will be with us,” Kellogg said. “We will recognize her and the other five descendants at our memorial tribute.”

Kellogg and Joslyn’s Titanic adventure began in 1987. Two years earlier, Robert Ballard and members of a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute team discovered Titanic’s remains after assisting the U.S. Navy with a search for sunken nuclear submarines.

Joslyn, a noted entertainment producer, co-led a team focused on bringing back images from the Titanic wreck site and making a TV special about it. “Return to Titanic ... Live!” a two-hour television special, documented the team’s 44 days at sea and 32 dives to the site 2.5 miles below the Atlantic.

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