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Historian and author John P. Eaton, a member of Lafayette’s Class of 1948, will give a slide presentation on “Titanic: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in the auditorium of Lafayette’s Kirby Hall of Civil Rights. A question and answer session will follow.

Sponsored by Delta Delta Delta sorority, the event is free and open to the public.

Eaton has served as a consultant since 1989 to RMS Titanic, Inc., and as an on-site consultant and observer during the 1993, 1996, and 1998 research expeditions to the Titanic wreck. He has appeared on The McNeil-Lehrer Report, Nova, Biography, Charlie Rose, Geraldo Rivera, and Dateline NBC, among other television programs.

He is coauthor with Charles Haas of many books on the Titanic, including Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy, published in 1986; Titanic: Destination Disaster (1987), which has been issued in German, French, Polish, and Czechoslovakian editions; Falling Star (1989); and Titanic: A Journey Through Time (1998). The pair also wrote the catalogue text for a major exhibition of the Titanic’s artifacts in Memphis, Tenn..

Eaton and Haas became the only historians to dive to the wreck in 1993. Eaton also has been consultant and adviser to several exhibitions of Titanic artifacts in England, Canada, and the United States. The National Geographic Society has employed Eaton in its preparations of magazine articles, children’s books, and film projects relating to the Titanic.

Eaton became interested in the Titanic after seeing a painting of it sinking in Esquire magazine in 1946. He went on to personally interview many survivors and their descendents, building on research conducted in the British Library, the Library of Congress, the United States National Archives, and the British Public Record Office, among other institutions.

“My interest continues because there’s always something new, material that has been overlooked,” he says. “Titanic was one of the first disasters that became a media event, covering radio, newspapers, motion pictures, and wireless transmissions across the world. And it happened in 1912, before the Great War, World War I, when this kind of media coverage became more commonplace.”

A biology major at Lafayette, Eaton worked in hospital administration at Roosevelt Hospital in New York until retiring five years ago.

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