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Anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald (November 10, 1975)

Edmund Fitzgerald

I am from Upper Michigan and I remember this day. I have a replica of this ship.

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Edmund Fitzgerald, St. Mary’s River, 1975. Photo by Bob Campbell

The legend of the Edmund Fitzgerald remains the most mysterious and controversial of all shipwreck tales heard around the Great Lakes. Her story is surpassed in books, film and media only by that of the Titanic. Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot inspired popular interest in this vessel with his 1976 ballad, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

The Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with her entire crew of 29 men on Lake Superior November 10, 1975, 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan. Whitefish Point is the site of the Whitefish Point Light Station and Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) has conducted three underwater expeditions to the wreck, 1989, 1994, and 1995.

At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald’s 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society on July 4, 1995. This expedition was conducted jointly with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now on display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum as a memorial to her lost crew.

The Fateful Journey

The final voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald began November 9, 1975 at the Burlington Northern Railroad Dock No.1, Superior, Wisconsin. Captain Ernest M. McSorley had loaded her with 26,116 long tons of taconite pellets, made of processed iron ore, heated and rolled into marble-size balls. Departing Superior about 2:30 pm, she was soon joined by the Arthur M. Anderson, which had departed Two Harbors, Minnesota under Captain Bernie Cooper. The two ships were in radio contact. The Fitzgerald being the faster took the lead, with the distance between the vessels ranging from 10 to 15 miles.

Aware of a building November storm entering the Great Lakes from the great plains, Captain McSorley and Captain Cooper agreed to take the northerly course across Lake Superior, where they would be protected by highlands on the Canadian shore. This took them between Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula. They would later make a turn to the southeast to eventually reach the shelter of Whitefish Point.

Weather conditions continued to deteriorate. Gale warnings had been issued at 7 pm on November 9, upgraded to storm warnings early in the morning of November 10. While conditions were bad, with winds gusting to 50 knots and seas 12 to 16 feet, both Captains had often piloted their vessels in similar conditions. In the early afternoon of November 10, the Fitzgerald had passed Michipicoten Island and was approaching Caribou Island. The Anderson was just approaching Michipicoten, about three miles off the West End Light.

Captain Cooper maintained that he watched the Edmund Fitzgerald pass far too close to Six Fathom Shoal to the north of Caribou Island. He could clearly see the ship and the beacon on Caribou on his radar set and could measure the distance between them. He and his officers watched the Fitzgerald pass right over the dangerous area of shallow water. By this time, snow and rising spray had obscured the Fitzgerald from sight, visible 17 miles ahead on radar.

At 3:30 pm that afternoon, Captain McSorley radioed Captain Cooper and said: “Anderson, this is the Fitzgerald. I have a fence rail down, two vents lost or damaged, and a list. I’m checking down. Will you stay by me till I get to Whitefish?” McSorley was checking down his speed to allow the Anderson to close the distance for safety. Captain Cooper asked McSorley if he had his pumps going, and McSorley said, “Yes, both of them.”

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“The Wreck Site II” by David Conklin Available online in the Shipwreck Coast Museum Store.

As the afternoon wore on, radio communications with the Fitzgerald concerned navigational information but no extraordinarily alarming reports were offered by Captain McSorley. At about 5:20 pm the crest of a wave smashed the Anderson’s starboard lifeboat, making it unusable. Captain Cooper reported winds from the NW x W (305 ) at a steady 58 knots with gusts to 70 knots, and seas of 18 to 25 feet.

According to Captain Cooper, about 6:55 pm, he and the men in the Anderson’s pilothouse felt a “bump”, felt the ship lurch, and then turned to see a monstrous wave engulfing their entire vessel from astern. The wave worked its way along the deck, crashing on the back of the pilothouse, driving the bow of the Anderson down into the sea.

“Then the Anderson just raised up and shook herself off of all that water – barrooff – just like a big dog. Another wave just like the first one or bigger hit us again. I watched those two waves head down the lake towards the Fitzgerald, and I think those were the two that sent him under.”

September Fun Facts

The 9th month of the year brings us Labor Day, and the start of the Fall season.

In the Georgian calendar, the calendar that most of the world uses, September is the ninth month of the year. However, it used to be the seventh month on the Roman calendar. It had 29 and 31 days but it later was changed to 30 days by Emperor Augustus. In Southern United States, it is the warmest months of the year and very cool nights for Northern states. It is the harvest time for crops and that is why Switzerland calls September the harvest month. In the Northern hemisphere, beginning of September leads to the beginning of meteorological autumn while it is the beginning of the meteorological spring in southern hemisphere.

Below are some fun facts about September:

  1. The birthstone for September is the sapphire.
  2. The zodiac signs for September are Virgo (August 23 – September 22) and Libra (September 23 – October 22)
  3. The birth flower for September is the morning glory.
  4. On September 1, 1905, Alberta and Saskatchewan were established.
  5. On September 1, 1939, World War II began in Europe because the German troops invaded Poland.
  6. On September 2, 1789, the United States Department of Treasury was established.
  7. On September 3, 1783, the Revolutionary War in America ended after Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris.
  8. On September 6, 1901, William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, was assassinated.
  9. On September 8, 1565, the first permanent white settlement was founded in St.Augustine, Florida.
  10. On September 10, 1846, Elias Howe patented his sewing machine.
  11. On September 14, 1847, United States forces took control of Mexico City.
  12. On September 14, 1940, the Selective Service Act was passed by Congress which provided the first peacetime draft in the United States history.
  13. National Chicken Month
  14. National Rice Month
  15. National Potato Month
  16. National All-American Breakfast Month
  17. Labor Day – first Monday of September
  18. September 8 – Pardon Day
  19. September 13 – Uncle Sam Day (his image was first used in 1813)
  20. September 16 – Mexican Independence Day

National French Fry Day July 13


Each year on July 13, many people will participate in National French Fry Day by enjoying one of the many varieties of the classic food.
French fries, also known as chips, fries, finger chips or French-fried potatoes, are batons of deep-fried potatoes and are common fixtures at fast food restaurants that are loved by adults and kids alike!

A wide selection of condiments such as ketchup, ranch dressing, vinegar, mayonnaise, honey mustard, cheese and many more compliment French fries. Sweet potatoes make an alternate, healthier offering of fries found on menus around the country. Other varieties are baked and come in unusual shapes such as curls, waffles, crinkle or tornado cut. 

The expression “French Fried Potatoes” first occurs in print in English in the 1856 work Cookery for Maids of All Work by E. Warren.

It is believed by some that the term “French” was introduced to the potatoes when the American soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I and consequently tasted Belgian fries. It is suggested that they called them “French” as it was the official language of the Belgian Army at that time.

HOW TO OBSERVE

To celebrate National French Fry Day, share some French fries with your friends and have them seasoned, cut and shaped how you like them! Post on social media using #NationalFrenchFryDay .

HISTORY

Within our research, we were unable to find the creator or origin of National French Fry Day.

I am a Michigander!!

For all my fellow Michiganders!!!
THIS IS MICHIGAN …


Detroit is known as the car capital of the world.

Alpena is the home of the world’s largest cement plant. (I live here)

Rogers City boasts the world’s largest limestone quarry.

Elsie is the home of the world’s largest registered Holstein dairy herd.

Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore..

Colon is home to the world’s largest manufacturer of magic supplies….

The state Capitol with its majestic dome was built in Lansing in l879.

Although Michigan is often called the Wolverine State , there are no longer wolverines in Michigan.

(However, one was spotted in 2007, so there are some. )

Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations.

More

Our Flag

I am the Flag….

Flag Day   June 14, 2017
I am the Flag


I am the flag of the United States of America.

My name is Old Glory.

I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.

I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.

I fly majestically over institutions of learning.

I stand guard with power in the world.

Look up … and see me.
I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.

I stand for freedom.

I am confident.

I am arrogant.

I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners,

my head is a little higher,

my colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!

I am recognized all over the world.

I am worshiped

I am saluted.

I am loved

I am revered.

I am respected

and I am feared.
I have fought in every battle of every war

for more then 200 years.

I was flown at Valley Forge,

Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomattox.

I was there at San Juan Hill,

the trenches of France,

in the Argonne Forest,

Anzio, Rome, and the beaches of Normandy.

Guam, Okinawa, Korea and

KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me.

I was there.
I led my troops.

I was dirty, battle worn and tired,

but my soldiers cheered me

And I was proud.

I have been burned, torn and trampled

on the streets of countries I have helped set free.

It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn

and trampled on the streets of my country.

And when it’s by those whom I’ve served in battle..it hurts.

But I shall overcome..for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth

and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space

from my vantage point on the moon.

I have borne silent witness

to all of America’s finest hours.

But my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages

for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,

When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,

Or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent

at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,

I am proud.
My name is ‘Old Glory’!

Long may I wave

o’er the land of the free

and the home of the brave.
Publisher :- Howard Schnauber

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