The sinking of luxury liner Lusitania was an event that sparked American entry into World War One. The number of casualties in this disaster merited global criticism for Germany.
The RMS Lusitania was a British ship first launched in 1907, and it was used to carry passengers. On May 1, 1915, Lusitania left New York with a total of 1,959 passengers, and 159 of them were Americans.
On May 7, 1915, the ship was traveling near British waters; WWI necessitated German monitoring of the waters with U-boats (submarines), a controversial weapon of war in these times. Ships going toward Britain were in danger of being attacked. On this date, at 1:40 PM, a German U-boat launched a torpedo at the Lusitania, triggering an explosion which sunk the ship in 18 minutes. Evidence suggests that munitions on the ship may have caused the explosion needed to sink the ship. Only six lifeboats were launched out of 48 the ship carried. There were 1,198 casualties, and 128 Americans were killed.
This outraged the government and American civilians alike, and gave President Woodrow Wilson the support needed to enter WWI on the side of the Allies (and thusly declare war on Germany).
Some people have put forth the notion that a titanic bandsman survived the Titanic and died on the Lusistania. This is partly true. A violinist named Ernest Drakeford was offered a chance to sail on the Titanic. he declined, because he did not want to move to Southampon. He ironically joined the band of the Luisitania and barley survived the sinking. This musician was saved after clinging to a barrel for 2 hours, and not falling off into death's vale.
R.I.P: 1,198 civilians, victims of unneded and mindless war.