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5 Fun Facts About October 31 In Michigan History

---Learn Every Day: MI Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history mi To: 618-270-4005---

1. On October 31, 1864, the Civil War Unionist General George Armstrong Custer received a promotion to the rank of Brigadier General at the age of 24. He played a significant role in the Battle of Gettysburg where he led a series of successful cavalry charges.

2. October 31, 1926, was a tragic day in Michigan history as the Eden Musee fire occurred in the city of Detroit. The building was a museum filled with wax figures and other objects, and the fire was caused by a boiler explosion. The disaster claimed the lives of six people.

3. Michigan's 'Night of Terror', on October 31, 1934, marked the violent end of women's suffrage activists' struggles to receive votes. These brave women fought for their rights to vote through marches, lobbying and other tactics, and they endured brutal abuse, including being beaten and being denied food.

4. On October 31, 1943, a disastrous shipwreck occurred in Lake Michigan. An aircraft carrier, the USS Wolverine, collided with a destroyer, the USS YP-387, during a training exercise. The Wolverine began taking on water, causing 74 crew members to abandon ship, and ultimately sunk an hour later.

5. Another momentous event in Michigan history occurred on October 31, 1975, with the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior. This freighter, carrying iron ore pellets, was capsized by a brutal storm, killing all 29 crew members aboard. The wreck was famously memorialized in a song by Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
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