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The Edmund Fitzgerald

The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald will be commemorated today. Twenty nine lives were lost when the ship sank in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975 about 17 miles from Whitefish Point.  Gordon Lightfoot recorded a memorable tribute to the lost crew in his song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. For more information on the Edmund Fitzgerald and other notable Great Lakes shipwrecks try some of the titles below. The Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum are also both great sources for information on the tragedy. 

Mighty Fitz: the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Michael Schumacher


Gales of November: the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Robert J. Hemming


The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Frederick Stonehouse

Native American Biographies

In honor of Native American Heritage Month check out some of the biographies of notable First Americans from the Library's collection, or go to this list for more information.

Tecumseh: a life by John Sugden

Sacajawea by [by] Harold P. Howard

Chief Joseph & the flight of the Nez Perce: the untold story of an American tragedy by Kent Nerburn

Crazy Horse: a Lakota life by Kingsley M. Bray

Pocahontas by Grace Steele Woodward

Election Alert!

Polls are open Tuesday, November 4, 7:00 AM-8:00 PM for the 2014 statewide election. For information on where to vote go the Michigan Voter Information site. For a sample ballot go here. For information on the candidates and issues check out one of the following sources:

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

It was on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona that the infamous gunfight took place. Generally regarded as the most famous gunfight in the history of the American West, it is believed to have lasted all of thirty seconds. On one side were the cowboy outlaws Billy Clairborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury. Opposing them were Marshall Virgil Earp and his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, as well as Doc Holliday. Hollywood versions of the gun battle can be found in the films My Darling Clementine (1946), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and Tombstone (1993). Find out what the fight was really all about and who survived by checking out some of the following books and dvds from the Library's collection:

The last gunfight: the real story of the shootout at the O.K. Corral and how it changed the American West by Jeff Guinn

And die in the West: the story of the O.K. Corral gunfight by Paula Mitchell Marks

New Books on the Biography Shelf

Augustus: first emperor of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy


The Roosevelts: an intimate history by Geoffrey C. Ward ; based on a documentary film by Ken Burns ; with a preface by Ken Burns ; picture research by Susanna Steisel ; design by Maggie Hinders


Tennessee Williams: mad pilgrimage of the flesh by John Lahr


Cosby: his life and times by Mark Whitaker


Death of a king: the real story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final year by Tavis Smiley with David Ritz

The Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire burned from Sunday, October 8 to Tuesday, October 10, 1871. The fire started in or around a barn on DeKoven Street, but despite the fact that the O'Leary family lived in the area, the legend of Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern is probably just that - a legend. More than 300 people died in the fire, 100,000 were left homeless, and four square miles of the city were destroyed. Although the Chicago fire, perhaps, the most well known from in American history, there have been significant fires in other major cities as well - Boston, Pittsburgh and Detroit included. To learn more about them check out Seven Fires: the Urban Infernos that Shaped America.

The great fire by Jim Murphy

Smoldering city: Chicagoans and the Great Fire, 1871- 1874 by Karen Sawislak

City of the century: the epic of Chicago and the making of America by Donald L. Miller

City of big shoulders: a history of Chicago by Robert G. Spinney