SOS Signals Century Mark
* * * / - - - / * * * saved thousands of lives in first 100 years
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2008 4:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – Take a moment today to honor the 100th birthday of the SOS signal—the Morse code dots and dashes that have saved thousands of lives. The distress call was introduced in 1908 to replace an older code, "CQD," which was easier to confuse with other signals, the Times of London reports.

One of the Titanic's radio operators reputedly said to another when the ship was struck by an iceberg, "Send SOS. It’s the new call and besides this may be your last chance to send it.” As it turned out, they sent both new and old calls, but many passing ships ignored both, thinking the Titanic was merely in party mode.