Children of the Titanic
In the popular Smoky Mountain town of Pigeon Forge, the Titanic Museum Attraction gives visitors an immersive look at the glory and tragedy of the Titanic, which sank off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1912. This year, the museum is putting a focus on the ship’s youngest passengers with “Discover the Children of the Titanic,” a special exhibition honoring the 133 children who traveled aboard the ship.
The yearlong exhibition draws on the documented experiences of the Titanic’s younger passengers. Displays re-create what children saw and heard from the moment they boarded the ship and give a distinctive perspective on the ship’s tragic sinking and the events that surrounded it.
The special exhibit complements the permanent exhibition, which features numerous artifacts from the ship and detailed replicas of signature areas of the vessel, such as its first-class cabins and grand staircase.
A pair of musical heavyweights in Memphis are celebrating milestones in the city’s music history this year.
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is commemorating its 10th anniversary. The museum opened in May 2003 at the former site of Stax Records, the label that was instrumental in introducing soul music to the world. The museum celebrated with a series of special concerts and events throughout the spring; groups can join in the celebration during a tour of the museum and a musical performance when they visit at any time of year.
Also in Memphis, Elvis Presley’s Graceland is highlighting the 40th anniversary of “Aloha From Hawaii” and “Viva Las Vegas.” A special exhibition called “Elvis: Live From Vegas” chronicles the superstar’s performances in Vegas, from his first time on a stage there through his final performance in the city in 1969. Highlights include the first jumpsuit that Presley ever wore on stage, as well as other artifacts from his Las Vegas career.
A New Discovery
Later this year, the people of northwest Tennessee will be celebrating the debut of Discovery Park of America when it opens in Union City. Purpose-built as a tourist attraction, the 50-acre venue will educate visitors on nature, science, technology, history and art.
The centerpiece of Discovery Park will be Discovery Center, a 100,000-square-foot building filled with 10 exhibit galleries spanning a wide range of subjects. Highlights are set to include an earthquake simulation theater, a 20,000-gallon aquarium and a 60-foot replica of the human body. A 120-foot observation tower will offer visitors expansive views of the surrounding area.
The park will have a number of outdoor components as well. Historic areas are planned to re-create life in early Tennessee, showcasing an 1800s pioneer village, a 1900s town square and a barn displaying antique farm equipment. Waterfalls, lakes, a river and botanical gardens will provide a beautiful environment for education or simple reflection.