Eighteen minutes that changed the world: it happened exactly 94 years ago today. Loaded with nearly two thousand passengers and crew members, the Lusitania left New York on May 1, 1915, headed towards Ireland. Just forty or so miles away from her destination port, she was hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat and sunk 18 minutes later, taking the lives of more than half on board.
This remains one of the worst civilian sea disasters in history, and is widely considered the main reason the US entered World War I. Remarkably, there is still one living survivor of the Lusitania, American Audrey Lawson Johnston, who was three months old at the time and lost her two sisters in the disaster.
We have a wealth of Lusitania books here at the Darien Library, mostly in the Life & Times subject area (or "glade") on the 2nd floor. You can read about the events of May 7, 1915 in books like Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy, Seven Days to Disaster, or The Lucitania Disaster. For those interested in exploration of the ship's wreckage, an excellent resource is Robert Ballard's Lusitania: Probing the Mysteries of the Sinking That Changed History. Nearly 100 years later, the story of the Lusitania still resonates, and amazes.