Explore the untold story of the Titanic through an exciting exhibit on display in Washington, DC.

A new(ish) exhibit at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC tells the untold story of the Titanic. Stories began circulating immediately the ship sank in April of 1912; however it wasn’t until 1985 that the real story began to unfold.

A virtual recreation of the sinking of the RMS Titanic

The Story You Already Know:

The RMS Titanic began its maiden voyage on April 10, 1912 and was considered to be the most luxurious passenger ship ever built. First class passengers were treated to beautiful architecture, fine dining, state of the art amenities, and more. The ship was to travel from Southampton, England and arrive in New York City on April 17th, only 7 days after departure. At the time, this was considered to be one of the fastest routes across the Atlantic Ocean. But, as most everyone knows, the ship never reached its destination. Thought to be “unsinkable”, the Titantic struck an iceberg on April 14th and sank in the early hours of April 15th.

Titanic The Movie:

Think what you want about the plot of the 1997 movie, Titanic, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio; but there’s no denying that James Cameron did his research. The director worked with others to create a small vessel that would allow him to dive deep into the ocean and record the wreckage in a way that no one had done before. His painstaking research shows in every scene that takes place on the infamous boat. The movie might be the closest we’ll ever get to exploring the ship prior to sinking as well as experiencing its harrowing final hours.

Explore the wreckage of the Titanic
Robert Ballard’s Discovery:

So, with all of the research, exploration, and film recreations; what’s left to learn? That depends, how much do you know about the initial discovery of the wreckage?

In 1985, Robert Ballard set out with a crew to find the Titanic. The mission was financed by the US Navy but only if Ballard also used the time and resources to locate two top-secret submarines, which sank in the 1960s. Ballard had limited time and finding the submarines took longer than expected; leaving only 11 days to locate a ship that no one had ever been able to locate before. But as luck (and hard work) would have it, he and his team found the infamous wreckage in only 8 days.

In the interview below, Ballard sits down with CBS Sunday Morning to discuss how it felt to make such a prolific discovery. The segment also explores the fascinating exhibit on display at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC.

Find out more about the untold story of the Titanic: