The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

February 22, 2013

New gallery features toys, pictures of Titanic's youngest passengers

BRANSON, Mo. — Jamie Terrell said she feels honored to have the chance to tell the stories of the children who sailed on RMS Titanic's maiden voyage.

"It's absolutely an honor," Terrell said as families toured the Branson museum and attraction's newest gallery. "We are all fascinated with it. We finally get to tell the children's stories. To talk about those brave little heroes -- the ones who stood there so tall and didn't cry. They stood there by their mommies and maybe the daddy wasn't allowed into the lifeboat."

Titanic Museum Attraction Branson's newest feature is dedicated to the 133 children who set sail onboard the ship of dreams more than a century ago. The ill-fated White Star liner hit an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in April 1912.

The museum and attraction is at the intersection of Highway 76 and Gretna Road and has had thousands of guests tour its ever-changing exhibits during its time docked on Branson's strip.

The women and children onboard were the first people allowed into the ship's lifeboats, Terrell explained. Many if not most of the men aboard had to stand by and hope for the best as their wives, daughters and sons were lowered into the icy water below.

The once-thought "unsinkable" leviathan broke in half and sank in less than three hours of shipboard chaos.

The children of the Titanic are the focus. Museum staff take special care to tell visitors the stories they are tasked with preserving.

"The new gallery is fantastic," Terrell said. "It's a children's gallery. You see colorful art, artifacts and all of the pictures of the children of Titanic. Their stories have hardly ever been talked about."

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