On November 10, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald, a giant transport ship, was caught in a raging storm while crossing Lake Superior. Late that afternoon, the ship's captain radioed that "Big Fitz" was taking on water and had top-side damage. The ship sank and all 29 crew members perished. Singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot commemorated the tragic event in his Number One hit "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," with its haunting opening lines:
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee."
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
when the skies of November turn gloomy.
If you'd like to hear the song again, you can check out Lightfoot's Complete Greatest Hits or Gord's Gold Volume II. The library has books and videos about the Edmund Fitzgerald as well as data on more than 10,000 vessels in the Great Lakes Marine Collection including ships that sailed in 1679 to some that are still on the lakes today.