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East Aurora to mark sinking of the Lusitania with varied events

May is Lusitania month in East Aurora.

The community’s tribute to the sinking of the elegant ocean liner the Lusitania a century ago started Friday, May 1, the day the ship left New York in 1915.

Diana Preston, the author of “Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy,” discussed the research that went into her 2002 book Friday night at Parkdale Elementary School.

On Saturday a Lusitania exhibit will open from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Elbert Hubbard Museum, 363 Oakwood Ave. Items include the signed pardon from President Woodrow Wilson.

The reprieve let Hubbard get back the passport he lost for pleading guilty to felony charges relating to, among other things, a mild joke about the taboo topic of contraception published in his magazine.

James Morone will talk about the details of the scandal and his book “Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History” at 7 p.m. at Parkdale Elementary School. He will discuss the postal laws that let to the charges against Hubbard.

The Roycroft Film Society will show the documentary “Sinking of the Lusitania: Terror at Sea” at 4 p.m. Sunday at Parkdale Elementary School. Tickets are $8.

On Thursday, exactly 100 years to the day of the sinking, the Roycroft Inn will host a dinner modeled on the first-rate meals served on the ship.

For a $60 ticket, sample root vegetables, whitefish and plum tart and listen to the stories of some of the passengers. The evening starts with cocktails at 6 p.m. and a musical ensemble playing popular songs of the time. Call 652-4735 to reserve a place.

Aurora Town Historian Robert Goller will discuss the impact of the tragedy on East Aurora at 7 p.m. May 14 at the Roycroft Chapel at Main and South Grove streets.

The finale is the memorial procession at 3 p.m. May 23, the same day as the original held by Roycroft workers a century ago. People will honor Elbert and Alice Hubbard with a walk from the campus chapel to the Roycroft Pavilion, now home to the Aurora Players community theater.

For more Lusitania details, check