On February 5, 1941, the SS Politician ran aground off the islands of Scotland. After a bit, the ship broke up and began to sink, so local islanders rowed out to help salvage its contents: over 20,000 cases of whisky. Unfortunately, the government considered the salvaging more like looting, and pursued those who took part in it.
The 70th anniversary of the grounding of the ship is Saturday, Feb 5, 2011, so make sure you celebrate with a dram of your favorite maritime scotch whisky.
In 1970 a newspaper funded a diving expedition to find the ship and pull out some of the whisky still trapped inside. This whisky went up for auction in 2008 and I wrote about that here.
The book Whisky Galore spawned at least two follow-ups: Scotch on the Rocks: The True Story Behind Whisky Galore and Polly: The True Story Behind Whisky Galore.
And if you happen to be in Liverpool at the moment, the local maritime museum is having a display of whisky and a couple of artifacts from the SS Politician.
The entire movie is currently up on YouTube, cut into six parts. The first one is below.