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Split Rock Lighthouse shines bright on the 44th anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck

The massive ship sank November 10, 1975.

Sunday marks 44 years since the SS Edmund Fitzgerald was caught in a violent storm on Lake Superior. 

In honor of the shipwreck and the 29 crew members who died, Split Rock Lighthouse will be having its annual memorial beacon lighting ceremony. 

During the day, the lighthouse, fog signal building, and visitor center will be open. Costumed interpreters will be around to share historic information on the site and shipwreck. 

Then at 4:30 p.m., the lighthouse will close for a remembrance ceremony. The names of each crew member who died onboard the SS Edmund Fitzgerald will be read to the tolling of a ship's bell, the beacon will be lit and the tower will open again to tour. 

According to the event page on Facebook, this is the only day of the year visitors can climb the tower after dark and see the lit beacon. 

The SS Edmond Fitzgerald shipwreck

The 729-foot-long ship started its final voyage Nov. 9, 1974, according to the Shipwreck Museum.

The crew knew a storm was coming, but they pressed on through the night and into the next day. The storm intensified until it finally overtook the massive ship and its 29 crew members. 

The SS Edmond Fitzgerald was the last iron ore ship to sink in Lake Superior and the largest ship to sink in the Great Lakes. 

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