Unsinkable Memories: Titanic Reveals Love Story on Its 105th Anniversary

A special love story and its artifacts will be on display at the Artifacts Exhibition in Las Vegas in remembrance of Titanic's sinking.
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Titanic Photo

The Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.

On April 15, 1912 the Titanic met its demise 3,800 feet below in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. In honor of the 105th anniversary of its sinking, a special love story and its accompanying artifacts will be on display at the Luxor Hotel & Casino's Artifacts Exhibition in Las Vegas.

Among the notable items recovered? Gambling chips, a cuff link and a locket with the initials "V.C." were retrieved from a suitcase belonging to first-class passengers Virginia Estelle McDowell Clark and Walter Miller Clark.

Gold Locket Titanic Photo

A locket that belonged to Titanic passenger Virginia Estelle McDowell Clark.

"When we are researching artifacts we try to come up with potential passengers we can relate them to," said Alexandra Klingelholfer, vice president of collections for Premier Exhibitions, Inc. "We checked records, and there were not many passengers with the initials V.C., [so] we thought it belonged to Virginia Clark, who was married to Walter Clark of Los Angeles."

The couple were on a belated European honeymoon when they decided to board the Titanic. They originally had planned on vacationing longer but changed their minds so that they could get back in time to celebrate their toddler son's birthday.

Titanic Survivors

An emergency cutter lifeboat carrying a few survivors from the Titanic, seen floating near the rescue ship Carpathia on the morning of April 15, hours after the disaster. Titanic did not carry enough lifeboats to save all her passengers, and many of the available boats were launched carrying fewer than their 65-passenger capacity.

In the end, Virginia survived the sinking but Walter did not.

According to Virginia, when the ship hit the iceberg, she ran to the saloon to alert her husband who was playing a game of poker. Soon after Walter helped Virginia in lifeboat four and made the grave mistake of not joining her.

"The boat was supposed to lower and gather more passengers, but couldn’t take passengers from the gangway door, so it continued being lowered," Klingelhofer said. "There was quite a bit of room on the boat, so there would have been a spot for [Mr. Clark] if it had worked out differently."

Walter was from a wealthy family that built railway connections between Los Angeles and Salt Lake, Utah via Las Vegas. He had first met Virginia in Montana where the two had grown up together in their youth.