Top of page

Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

"Lusitania Extra—No. 3—Lusitania is Sunk: Giant Liner Blown Up—Report All Saved," Boston American, May 7, 1915. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (002.00.00)

Sinking of the Lusitania

On May 7, 1915, a German submarine sank the Cunard Company ocean liner Lusitania. Early news reports did not describe the full extent of the disaster. The Boston American headlined "Report All Saved," but cautioned "the loss of life might have been very heavy." And it was: the ship sank in 18 minutes and at least 1,191 passengers and crew died, including approximately 128 Americans. The sinking received massive coverage in America as an attack on innocent civilians, leading to a surge in pro-British and anti-German sentiment.