White House reporters dash for the telephones after they had been told by presidential press secretary Stephen T. Early that Japanese submarines and planes had just bombed the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 -
RMS Lusitania, torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in May 1915 with the loss of 1,198 lives. Before she left New York on what would be her final voyage, the German embassy in the United States placed a newspaper advertisement warning people not to sail on Lusitania. On the afternoon of 7 May, Lusitania was struck by a torpedo, sending her to the bottom of the North Atlantic in 18 minutes and killing over 100 American citizens. Her sinking sparked international outrage and is cited as one of the reasons the US joined the First World War two years later in 1917.