By Kay Harwell Fernandez, The Tennessean
Fascination with the Titanic seems unsinkable. As the 100th anniversary of the ship's tragic fate approaches on April 14, what is it that resonates with people after all this time? Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, co-owner of Titanic Museum Attractions, says, "When you consider that the RMS Titanic was the largest moveable, man-made object on the face of the planet at the time - and was being called an engineering masterpiece - and then look at what happened on its maiden voyage, it's easy to see why the story is so dramatic.
"But that's only half of the reason people are still fascinated. One must also consider the cross-section of society that was on board - the wealthiest of the wealthy, a who's who of business, entertainment and high society, to average, everyday people - and the unbelievable acts of heroism while others were being cowards to get a complete picture of why this story still captivates."
David Kamuda, who founded the Titanic Historical Society, says, "The chronicle of life and death of the prominent with immigrants seeking a new beginning, of courage and sacrifice, the characteristics and virtues we admire and associate with seems to affect people more than other sinking ship accounts, and, rather than forgotten over time, has been fixed in people's minds."
Universal interest has spawned hundreds of articles and documentaries; approximately 1,000 books; and more than a dozen movies, including the 1997 James Cameron blockbuster, which is being released in 3D on April 4.
Whether abroad or closer to home, consider these Titanic-related destinations and commemorations in your travels.