44 years later: Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald

 Edmund Fitzgerald (MGN Photo)
Edmund Fitzgerald (MGN Photo) (WLUC)
Published: Nov. 8, 2019 at 11:58 AM EST
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“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down, of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee. Superior they say, never gives up her dead, when the gales of November come early."

On this day 44 years ago, the Edmund Fitzgerald went down in Lake Superior. The 29 crew members sank with the freighter hauling iron ore.

As an low pressure system moved up across the Great Lakes on Nov. 10, 1975, Lake Superior intensified, bringing with it 25-35 foot waves, and sustained winds of 67 mph, with gusts up to 86 mph.

The storm, undetected by radar systems, brought the ‘gales of November’ to the lake, 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point.

The National Weather Service says the storm was not record breaking for Lake Superior, but culminated where the Edmund Fitzgerald was traveling.

As Gordon Lightfoot says in the famous musical retelling of the wreck, “And later that night when his lights went out of sight, came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

Hear Lightfoot’s telling of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” on


On Sunday, November 10, at 7 p.m., the annual Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Ceremony will be held at the Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point, Chippewa County.

For more on that free event,


And for now, the freighters still travel the lakes, but keeping the weather in mind. As Lightfoot sings, “And the iron boats go, as the mariners all know, with the gales of November remembered.”

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