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Fred Spear
Enlist, 1915
color lithograph
81.3 x 58.4 cm (32 x 23 in.)
National Museum of American History Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution
photographed by Larry Gates

This heartbreaking image depicts a mother clasping her child as they sink together following the wreck of the Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a German submarine and sank just off the coast of Ireland in 1915. Spear's illustration of their watery death, based upon a newspaper account of the pair still clinging together in death as they were brought to the harbor, was intended to wrench American hearts and inspire a will to revenge in the American public. Shortly after the sinking of the Lusitania, America entered World War I.

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