Trivia Minute May 7, 2015

Episode 68: Sinking of the Lusitania

by Marcus Michelson
A painting of the 1915 sinking of the RMS Lusitania. (German Federal Archive via Wikimedia)
A painting of the 1915 sinking of the RMS Lusitania. (German Federal Archive via Wikimedia)

Today is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania by a German submarine during World War I.

Here are some things you may not have known about the Lusitania.

One: When it was completed in 1906, the Lusitania was the largest ship ever built. Shortly after completion, its sister ship Mauretania took that title by three feet. Lusitania was named for an ancient Roman colony located in what is now southern Portugal.

Two: The Lusitania was sailing from New York to Liverpool with 1,959 people aboard when a German U-boat torpedoed it 11 miles off the coast of Ireland just after 2 p.m.

Three: 761 people survived the sinking, while nearly 1,200 were killed. The sinking is widely blamed for turning international opinion against the Germans and leading to the United States’ entry into World War I two years later.

Our question: What year did the last survivor of the sinking die?

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