Local connections to the Titanic

April 10, 2008 5:38:26 AM PDT
Since she sank back in 1912, only a few scientists have actually seen the Titanic where it sits on the bottom of the northern Atlantic Ocean.Millions saw the recent movie, but experts say that was largely fiction.

You can learn the real-life story of Philadelphia's connection to the ill-fated ship this weekend. Widener University folklorist Joseph Edgette hosts a program Saturday.

Philadelphia financier Peter Widener was a board member of White Star Lines, which owned Titanic. Widener's son and grandson went down with the ship. The Wideners made a fortune consolidating neighborhood trolleys into a mass transit system we call SEPTA today.

Lily Potter was rescued from the North Atlantic and lived more than 40 years after the sinking. She founded the local chapter of the Red Cross.

Prominent attorney William Dulles was aboard. His body was recovered and buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Fairmount Park.

Half a dozen other Titanic victims are buried or remembered at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd. Both cemeteries are holding events this weekend. A few artifacts from the ship will be on display. A lecture, and a banquet re-creating Titanic's final dinner will follow.

Saturday's program begins at 2 p.m. at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Fairmount Park, and then moves to West Laurel Hill Cemetery.

WEB LINK: More information on the Titanic event

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