May 7, 1915: The RMS Lusitania Sinks
On this day in 1915, The RMS Lusitania, A British ocean liner, was torpedoed by a German U-Boat. Less than an hour later, over 1000 passengers had lost their lives when she sank off the coast of Ireland. Only three years had passed since the Titanic disaster.
Afterward, there was much controversy with the sinking, as the Lusitania had been carrying mostly civilians. Europe was in the midst of World War I, and the German Navy insisted that the Lusitania was a legitimate target as she had also been carrying munitions and serving as an auxiliary military ship.
As 128 Americans were among the dead, the British thought that the United States would declare war on Germany, but this would not be the case. Two years would pass until America joined World War I.
Learn more about the RMS Lusitania with our “Lost Liners” collection.
Photo: RMS Lusitania coming into port, possibly in New York, 1907-13 (Library of Congress).