Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
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Ahoy, Mateys! The Jolly Roger will be raised over the Milwaukee Public Museum on December 14, 2012, as Real Pirates takes over the Museum's special exhibit halls. Experience the Golden Age of Piracy aboard the Whydah, one of the most successful pirate ships of her day, and learn about her roots as a slave ship and subsequent takeover and conversion into a pirate ship in the early 1700s. One of the most technologically advanced vessels of her day, the Whydah was captured on her maiden voyage by legendary pirate Sam Bellamy and his crew. After a few alterations and a quick hoist of the Jolly Roger, the Whydah became the flagship of Bellamy's flotilla, leading raids throughout Caribbean waters and up the Atlantic coastline. On April 26, 1717, the perfect storm put an end to the Whydah's sailing days, and she sank with most of her crew aboard—as well as the bounty from more than 50 captured ships. Almost 300 years later, underwater explorer Barry Clifford and his team managed to locate the wreck of the Whydah and painstakingly unearthed her treasures from the ocean floor, making her the first fully authenticated pirate ship ever to be discovered in U.S. waters. Organized by National Geographic and Arts and Exhibitions International, Real Pirates examines the history of rich Caribbean trade routes during the 18th century and the link between the slave trade and piracy. You'll encounter compelling true stories of those who lived aboard the Whydah and learn about the forces that shaped their world.