The Gales of November

November is a month for unpredictable, dangerous weather on the Great Lakes. The most ferocious winds don't usually roar in until late in the month, as they did in 1905. Over two days near the end of that November, the "Mataafa Storm" damaged or destroyed 29 ships on Lake Superior, including the steamer which gave the storm its name.

On November 9, 1975, two ships set out, one from Minnesota and one from Wisconsin's northern shore, both laden with more than 25,000 tons of iron ore pellets. They were the Arthur M. Anderson and the Edmund Fitzgerald, each under the command of an experienced captain. In the dead of night, the gales of November came early and soon took the Edmund Fitzgerald to the bottom of Lake Superior, as Gordon Lightfoot's song describes.

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