Today in History: The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sank 39 years ago

Thirty-nine years ago, on Nov. 10, 1975, the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sank into Lake Superior. All 29 of the American Great Lakes freighter's crew, including Captain Ernest M. McSorley, were lost. 

When the ship was launched in '58, she was the largest on the Great Lakes. The Edmund Fitzgerald remains the largest vessel to have sunk there. 

The ship was en route from Superior, Wisconsin, to Zug Island in Detroit, carrying a cargo of 26,116 long tons of taconite ore pellets when she was overtaken by a massive winter storm that was producing 10-foot waves, nearly 100 mph winds, and blinding snow. 

The crash has been commemorated by the incredibly eerie tune "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," which is very creepily taught to elementary school students in their music classes (or was that just us?). Also, Great Lakes Brewing also makes a delicious Edmund Fitzgerald porter. 

About The Author

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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