May 10, 2021
Via Zoom, a link to the lecture will be posted on our lecture page prior to event.
Lecture is free and open to the public
Lecture: RMS Lusitania - Passenger Liner or Armed Cruiser?
Monday, May 10, 2021
Lecture by Mark Wilkins, CMM Curator of Maritime History. The RMS Lusitania was torpedoed on May 7th, 1915 by German submarine U-20. She sunk in 20 minutes with great loss of life including 123 Americans. The people of England and the United States were outraged. Upon receiving the news, Woodrow Wilson exclaimed: “How could any nation calling itself civilized condone such an act.” In contrast, Germany saw the sinking of this “armed cruiser” as a great victory for the German people, as she was carrying munitions/contraband. Wilson, who desperately wanted to keep the US out of a foreign war found himself in a difficult position, and finally in 1917, led America to war based on unrestricted submarine warfare—the most strident example of which was the loss of the Lusitania.