November 10, 1975. I was 10, and I had a paper route delivering the Marquette MIning Journal, which means I was out delivering newspapers to the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse the day the Edmund Fitzgerald went down. Television news in those days was black and white, and there's a clip of Harry Reasoner that plays at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum from the news the next day that I must have seen two dozen times which brings me back. (sorry, no link, couldn't find it.)
There's lots too much to write about, but here's a few clips that are new to me this year.
(Bootleg) live Gordon Lightfoot singing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
boatnerd's summary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald
The Fitzgerald cleared Superior, Wisconsin, on her last trip on November 9, 1975, with a cargo of 26,116 tons of taconite pellets consigned to Detroit. Traveling down Lake Superior in company with ARTHUR M. ANDERSON of the United States Steel Corporation's Great Lakes Fleet, she encountered heavy weather and in the early evening of November 10th, suddenly foundered approximately 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay (47º North Latitude, 85º 7' West Longitude)
The storm that sunk the Fitz
from Steve Ackerman and John Knox at U of Wisconsin Meteorology
On November 9 at 7 p.m. the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a gale warning for Lake Superior. In a gale, the wind speeds range from 34-40 knots. The NWS predicted east to northeasterly winds during the night, shifting to NW to N by the afternoon of November 10. At approximately 10:40 p.m. the NWS revised its forecast for eastern Lake Superior to easterly winds becoming southeasterly the morning of the 10th. At about 2:00 am November 10 the NWS upgraded the gale warning to a storm warning (winds 48-55 knots) with a prediction of "northeast winds 35 to 50 knots becoming northwesterly 28 to 38 knots on Monday, waves 8 to 15 feet". Around 2 a.m. the Captains of the Anderson and Fitzgerald discussed the threatening weather and decided to change their route. This safer route would take them northward, toward the coast of Canada. The northern route would protect them from the waves that the storm generated.
The disasterous weather of November 6-11, 1913
The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 (wikipedia) destroyed 19 ships, damaged 19 others and killed more than 250 people. Tales of Riverside has an account of the storm and photos of all of the ships lost.