This Day in History: 11/12/1954 - Ellis Island Closes

This Day in History: 11/12/1954 - Ellis Island Closes

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On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s. On January 2, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore, from Ireland, became the first person to pass through the newly opened Ellis Island, which President Benjamin Harrison designated as America's first federal immigration center in 1890. Before that time, the processing of immigrants had been handled by individual states. Not all immigrants who sailed into New York had to go through Ellis Island. First- and second-class passengers submitted to a brief shipboard inspection and then disembarked at the piers in New York or New Jersey, where they passed through customs. People in third class, though, were transported to Ellis Island, where they underwent medical and legal inspections to ensure they didn't have a contagious disease or some condition that would make them a burden to the government. Only two percent of all immigrants were denied entrance into the U.S. Immigration to Ellis Island peaked between 1892 and 1924, during which time the 3.3-acre island was enlarged with landfill and additional buildings were constructed to handle the massive influx of immigrants. During the busiest year of operation, 1907, over 1 million people were processed at Ellis Island. After 1924, Ellis Island switched from a processing center to serving other purposes, such as a detention and deportation center for illegal immigrants, a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War II and a Coast Guard training center. In November 1954, the last detainee, a Norwegian merchant seaman, was released and Ellis Island officially closed.


This Library of Congress site from the America's Story collection explores the arrival of 15-year-old Annie Moore, the first person to enter the U.S. through the gates of Ellis Island.

This site includes historical information on the role that Ellis Island played in the lives of the more than 12 million people who immigrated to the United States over the course of the 62 years.

Ellis Island comes to life in this interactive tour featuring audio, photographic, and video files. This site is part of a Scholastic collection titled Immigration: Stories of Yesterday and Today.

This Week in History

On November 12, 1954, the immigration station of Ellis Island and all 33 of its buildings closed. I’m going to admit–the MAIN reason I picked this topic today ended up being a myth! But I had a ton of fun researching interesting tidbits all about Ellis Island. I’ve listed the sections below that interested me the most.

Samuel Ellis bought the island around the time of the Revolutionary War. He wanted to cater to local fishermen, so he built a tavern on the little island. Ellis passed away in the late 1700s. An article I read states “in 1808 New York State buys the island from his family for $10,000.” Throughout the 1800s, Ellis Island was used by the US Department of War to store munitions–including storing ammunition during the Civil War.

Over the next several decades, immigrants began pouring into the US–with little to no regulations. It became clear that regulations were needed. When Castle Garden–New York immigration’s current locale–closed in 1890, they needed a new immigration station and so the federal government took over immigration. “On January 2, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore, from Ireland, became the first person to pass through the newly opened Ellis Island, which President Benjamin Harrison designated as America’s first federal immigration center in 1890. Before that time, the processing of immigrants had been handled by individual states.” click here for more info

hist-2022/11720/image_Yx4I62QiOE5p4p2F.jpg Who Went Through Ellis Island?

I mistakenly thought that all immigrants during this time period went through Ellis Island. I learned that it was actually only “third class citizens” that had to go through Ellis Island immigration–higher classes were quickly given an on board inspection on their ship and allowed to disembark in New Jersey and New York ports and go through customs there. “People in third class, though, were transported to Ellis Island, where they underwent medical and legal inspections to ensure they didn’t have a contagious disease or some condition that would make them a burden to the government.” click here for more info

–Prostitutes and known criminals were not allowed in. “Restricted as well are “lunatics” and “idiots.'” Chinese were barred from immigration for around 10 years due to the Chinese Exclusion act of 1882. Chinese Exclusion Act What Happened At Ellis Island?

Ellis Island was a customs and clearance program for all immigrants. The immigrants were checked for contagious diseases and other maladies, to make sure they would not become a “burden” on their new country. According to an article I read, only about 2% of those that came to Ellis Island were denied entrance to the United States.

One article states the following: “Doctors checked those passing through Ellis Island for more than 60 diseases and disabilities that might disqualify them from entry into the United States. Those suspected of being afflicted with a having a disease or disability were marked with chalk and detained for closer examination. All immigrants were checked closely for trachoma, a contagious eye condition that caused more detainments and deportations than any other ailment. To check for trachoma, the examiner used a buttonhook to turn each immigrant’s eyelids inside out, a procedure remembered by many Ellis Island arrivals as particularly painful and terrifying.” Beware the Buttonhook Men

As I was researching this topic, I was learning of the detainments and the times it took to be processed. I couldn’t help but think of food. How did they eat?? Well, the article tells us the following: “Food was plentiful at Ellis Island, despite various opinions as to its quality. A typical meal served in the dining hall might include beef stew, potatoes, bread and herring (a very cheap fish) or baked beans and stewed prunes. Immigrants were introduced to new foods, such as bananas, sandwiches and ice cream, as well as unfamiliar preparations. To meet the special dietary requirements of Jewish immigrants, a kosher kitchen was built in 1911. In addition to the free meals served, independent concessions sold packaged food that immigrants often bought to eat while they waited or take with them when they left the island.” Name Changes

Ever since I was little, I’ve heard the stories of names being changed at Ellis Island. I’ve been working on this post all day–and yet, I’ve found nothing mentioning name changes! So…I had to specifically look up “name changes at Ellis Island.” What I found makes me smile:

“The legend goes that officials at Ellis Island, unfamiliar with the many languages and nationalities of the people arriving at Ellis Island, would change the names of those immigrants that sounded foreign, or unusual. Vincent J. Cannato’s excellent book American Passage: The History of Ellis Island explains why this did not happen:

Nearly all […] name change stories are false. Names were not changed at Ellis Island. The proof is found when one considers that inspectors never wrote down the names of incoming immigrants. The only list of names came from the manifests of steamships, filled out by ship officials in Europe. In the era before visas, there was no official record of entering immigrants except those manifests. When immigrants reached the end of the line in the Great Hall, they stood before an immigration clerk with the huge manifest opened in front of him. The clerk then proceeded, usually through interpreters, to ask questions based on those found in the manifests. Their goal was to make sure that the answers matched. (p.402)

Inspectors did not create records of immigration rather they checked the names of the people moving through Ellis Island against those recorded in the ship’s passenger list, or manifest. The ship’s manifest was created by employees of the steamship companies that brought the immigrants to the United States, before the voyage took place, when the passenger bought their ticket. The manifest was presented to the officials at Ellis Island when the ship arrived. If anything, Ellis Island officials were known to correct mistakes in passenger lists. The Encyclopedia of Ellis Island states that employees of the steamship companies,

…mostly ticket agents and pursers required no special identification from passengers and simply accepted the names the immigrants gave them. Immigrant inspectors [at Ellis Island] accepted these names as recorded in the ship’s manifests and never altered them unless persuaded that a mistake had been made in the spelling or rendering of the name. Nonetheless the original name was never entirely scratched out and remained legible. (p.176)” click here for the whole article

Why Did Ellis Island Become Obsolete?

After WW1, an article I researched states the following: “Following the war, Congress passed quota laws and the Immigration Act of 1924, which sharply reduced the number of newcomers allowed into the country and also enabled immigrants to be processed at U.S. consulates abroad.” Other Interesting Facts

  • Ellis Island is only partially natural. The island was expanded using landfill. Later, two additional “landfill islands” were created to include a hospital ward and a psychiatric ward. see the 1903-1910 section for this info
  • During WW1, Ellis Island was used as a retaining center (prison?) for suspected enemies to the U.S.
  • In 1897, the immigration station lit on fire. No one was killed, but all immigration records dating back to the Castle Garden records were destroyed.
  • In 1907, Ellis Island saw its highest immigration. Accordingly, they passed some immigration laws–banning those with physical and mental handicaps. They also passed a law against children arriving without adults. So, apparently this was a thing.
  • After 1924, Ellis Island was a “detention and deportation center” for illegal immigrants.
  • It was also a temporary hospital for wounded soldiers during WW2.
  • Ellis Island was also a Coast Guard training center.
  • In September of 1990, a museum was opened at the site.

This day in History: Nov 12, 1954: Ellis Island closes

On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s.

On January 2, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore, from Ireland, became the first person to pass through the newly opened Ellis Island, which President Benjamin Harrison designated as America's first federal immigration center in 1890. Before that time, the processing of immigrants had been handled by individual states.

Immigration to Ellis Island peaked between 1892 and 1924, during which time the 3.3-acre island was enlarged with landfill (by the 1930s it reached its current 27.5-acre size) and additional buildings were constructed to handle the massive influx of immigrants. During the busiest year of operation, 1907, over 1 million people were processed at Ellis Island.

Lady Liberty Is Wounded

“Every window in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, on Bedloe’s Island opposite Black Tom, was broken, and the main door, made of iron and weighing almost a ton, was blown off its hinges…”

— Frank Warner, Morning Call

According to the National Park Service, shrapnel embedded itself into the skirt of the statue. Plus, the huge iron door on Fort Wood, at the base of the monument, was torn off its hinges. It’s an impressive feat when you realize the door is four-inches thick, combined with its weight.

However, the most damaging effects occurred after the second blast. The internal framework of the statue was damaged. The blast wave moved the uplifted torch arm towards the spikes in the crown. You can see this in the picture above, taken during the 1985 rehab of the statue. It appears a spike impaled the arm.

Imagine raising your arm to answer a question in a classroom. Now, slowly push your bicep against your ear. Just picture it in your mind the explosion was massive enough to do this to the giant statue. However, despite the damage, the light in the torch never died. But the island was evacuated.

Warner said the blast also knocked 100 rivets out of the arm. In his article he interviews librarian of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Barry Moreno, who says the Army shut down the torch right after the attack. At the time, security was paramount, and it was thought best for the nation’s interest.

Pages: Check them out

November 12: TODAY in Irish History:

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

An insightful, realistic, yet humorous book on the job search process by Today in Irish History Curator Conor Cunneen

1798: Wolfe Tone Execution Day

Due to be executed today, Irish nationalist Wolfe Tone attempts suicide by cutting his throat. Critically wounded he dies 7 days later on November 19th.

Tone was one of the founders of the United Irishmen. In efforts to free Ireland from English rule, he had encouraged a French invasion of Ireland which due to bad planning and bad luck was never successful. In October 1798, French forces consisting of eight frigates were intercepted by British ships off Buncrana, Co. Donegal. Retreating French ships offered Tone escape but he allegedly said “Shall it be said that I fled, whilst the French were fighting the battles of my country?” He was captured on the ship Hoche.

Two years previously, Wolfe Tone had attempted to land at Bantry Bay, Co. Cork on another French “invasion.” High winds and storms would mean the planned landing would be aborted some days later. He w wrote in his journal:

“We are now, nine o’clock, at the rendezvous appointed stood in for the coast till twelve, when we were near enough to toss a biscuit ashore at twelve tacked and stood out again, so now we have begun our cruise of five days in all its forms, and shall, in obedience to the letter of our instructions, ruin the expedition, and destroy the remnant of the French navy, with a precision and punctuality which will be truly edifying.”

In his final speech from the dock, Tone said “From my earliest youth I have regarded the connection between Great Britain and Ireland as the curse of the Irish nation, and felt convinced that, whilst it lasted, this country could never be free nor happy. My mind has been confirmed in this opinion by the experience of every succeeding year, and the conclusions which I have drawn from every fact before my eyes.”

1847: Letter published in the Cork Examiner on The Famine

SIR– On Friday last, the day for distributing a scanty ration, a large body of those who have been looked upon as “able-bodied,” but who are now in reality infirm from hunger, assembled around the issue-shop, in the vain hope that a few “crumbs” might remain for them. Their hope was vain. Even some of those who were legally entitled to relief, did not get it owing to the parsimonious economy of the Board of Poor-law Guardians in not passing the Relieving Officer’s estimate for the current fortnight.

On the relieving officer announcing to them that he had no more meat for the present, no one can describe their consternation. They were struck dumb for a moment. Soon after they burst forth into a cry which continued for several minutes when, as if by common instinct, they proceeded to the residence of their parish priest, the Rev. Mr. Tuomy. There again theyrenewed their wailings with redoubled earnestness. These unusual sounds at such a late hour in the night (between 7 and 8 o’clock), at first startled the rev. gentleman. But on a moment’s reflection he judged the cause and proceeded forthwith to the door. There he saw numbers of his parishioners of all ages assembled, with the tears rolling down their emaciated cheeks, asking for bread. He could not be otherwise than deeply affected, and he divided amongst them his last shilling.

1954: Ellis Island closes.

From 1892 to 1954, an estimated two million Irish immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island, a small island in New York Harbor. The first official immigrant was 15 year old Annie Moore, accompanied by her two brothers from County Cork.

1934: Author John McGahern

Birth of Irish author John McGahern in County Leitrim

McGahern may not be as well known as other Irish authors, the Guardian newspaper suggested in his obituary that McGahern was arguably the most important Irish novelist since Samuel Beckett. His most famous novel The Dark was banned for a period of time by Irish censorship authorities.

Other novels y McGahern include: The Barracks, The Leavetaking, The Pornographer, Amongst Women, That They May Face the Rising Sun.

His short stories include Nightlines, GettingThrough, High Ground

1958: James Michael Curley

Death of four time Boston Mayor James M Curley, Congressman and one term Governor of Massachusetts.

Curley’s father emigrated from Ireland at age of fourteen. Curley first won the mayoralty in 1914, succeeding his arch-rival John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was the maternal grandfather of John F Kennedy. Born in 1874 to an Irish immigrant and petty criminal father, Curley was no saint himself. Over a lengthy career, he served two jail terms, the latter being for corruption in 1947 while in his final term as mayor. Curley spent five months in jail before his sentence was controversially commuted by President Truman, who finally pardoned him in 1950. On his release from prison, Curley returned to the mayoral role until 1950.

At an oral history interview by Robert Fuchs with Federal Agent Harold G. Washington provides a fascinating glimpse into the shenanigans of Curley.

ROBINSON: He (Jim Curley) had this Engineer’s Group. Anybody that came down from Jim’s bailiwick would just go over to the Engineer’s Group, and they’d redesign your project or do a lot of shuffling of papers, and charge you a fee for it and then they’d present it to the War Department and you’d get your contract.

FUCHS: What was the Engineer’s Group?

ROBINSON: It was a shakedown. Do you want it in plain, unvarnished language, that’s all it was.

FUCHS: Where were they headquartered?

ROBINSON: Back of the Mayflower Hotel.

FUCHS: Who were they supposed to be?

ROBINSON: Oh, they had a bunch of high-sounding names, but it was basically Jim Curley, and he was convicted of it. Did time in Danbury Reformatory, or prison, there at Danbury, and I don’t think he was out when they re-elected him Mayor,

As his consistent election victories suggest, Curley was a master politician and media player who was exceptionally popular with his constituents. As the following graphic shows, he liked to convey a “Man of the People” image.

WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

Government shuts down Ellis Island, Nov. 12, 1954

On this day in 1954, the federal government shut down Ellis Island. From 1892 to 1924, the station processed some 12 million immigrants there. Nowadays, some 40 percent of Americans can trace their familial roots to this gateway in New York harbor, named for Samuel Ellis, a merchant who owned the land in the 1870s.

On Jan. 2, 1892, Annie Moore, a 15-year-old Irish immigrant, became the first person to pass through the newly opened facility. Two years earlier, President Benjamin Harrison had designated it as America’s first federal immigration center. Before then, individual states took responsibility for processing newcomers.

The closure came after Arne Peterssen, a seaman detained for having overstayed his shore leave, became the last person to be processed there. He returned to his native Norway.

For 32 years, third-class passengers first alighted at the 27-acre island. There they underwent medical and legal inspections, lasting three to seven hours, to certify that they did not have a contagious disease or another condition that could make them a public burden. Some 2 percent were denied entry.

First- and second-class passengers bypassed Ellis Island. They were subject only to brief shipboard inspections before disembarking directly at their New York piers and passing through customs.

Ellis Island—why did it close?

For decades, Ellis Island marked the beginning of a new life in America for millions of immigrants. “It has been estimated that nearly half of all Americans today can trace their family history to at least one person who passed through the Port of New York at Ellis Island,” writes The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation on its Web site.

The Ellis Island Immigration Station officially opened on January 1, 1892. “The first immigrant to pass through Ellis was a ‘rosy-cheeked Irish girl,’ Annie Moore, age 15, from County Cork,” says The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. 700 other immigrants passed through Ellis Island that first day, and half a million immigrants passed through the Island in the first year.
When the United States entered World War I, Ellis Island was used to detain crews from German merchant ships and suspected enemy aliens throughout America. Later, the military “took over most of Ellis Island for use as a way station and treatment of returning sick and wounded American servicemen.” This period of time also marked a sharp decline in immigration
Once the war was over, immigration quickly revived and more than 560,000 immigrants came through Ellis Island in 1921. Despite this, new immigration quota laws limiting the number of immigrants made administering immigrants at Ellis Island more difficult. Later, the Immigration Act of 1924 restricted immigration even further and marked the end of mass immigration to the United States.
This meant the end of Ellis Island as an immigration processing station. After 1924, Ellis Island became the “center of the assembly, detention, and deportation of aliens who had entered the U.S. illegally or had violated the terms of admittance,” says The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. In the next several decades, the buildings at Ellis Island began to fall into disuse and bad condition. Ellis Island once again saw itself as a detention center for alien enemies during World War II. After the Internal Security Act of 1950, which banned immigrants who had been members of Communist and Fascist organizations, and the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952, fewer and fewer people came through Ellis Island. In November 1954, Ellis Island closed its doors
However in 1965, President Johnson added Ellis Island to the Statue of Liberty National Monument, and in 1976, Ellis Island opened its doors to the public for visits. Since then, Ellis Island has opened a museum and launched a Web site, , giving people access to the records of millions of immigrants who came through the Island between 1892 and 1924. The Web site has already had over 12 billion hits since launching in 2001.

Along with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island remains America’s most prominent symbol of immigrants and the immigrant experience. Ellis Island has seen more than 25 million immigrants and their first moments in America. No matter where they were from or where they were going, they all came to know Ellis Island as the “Gateway to America.”

Ellis Island

Funnel or Filter?
Approximately 30 million European immigrants entered the United States through the Port of New York between 1820 and 1920. Because of this, Ellis Island has entered our national mythology as a place of welcome that funneled new citizens into the nation. But it acted equally as a filter, one that excluded those deemed unfit for citizenship for reasons ranging from poverty to disease to homosexuality.

Courtesy of: Library of Congress

A Local Problem, Handled Locally
Prior to the opening of Ellis Island as a major port of entry, immigration was handled locally. As immigrants arrived at various ports, port commissioners decided their fate. In New York, for example, the immigration station was located in Castle Garden at the Battery. Most immigrants were refused entry because of some medical condition. Shipping companies were required, at their own expense, to detain and return rejected immigrants to their homeland.

Castle Garden and Bay, circa 1897. Courtesy of: Library of Congress

The Golden Door
From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island was the “Golden Door” through which millions of immigrants began their journey towards American citizenship. Lost to many is the history of Ellis Island as a detention center. Many hundreds of individuals were incarcerated there as a result of state policies and the public hysteria around the threat posed by communism and anarchism.

Immigrants waiting to be transferred, Ellis Island, 1912. Courtesy of: Library of Congress

Differential Exclusion
Immigrants who could afford to travel as first- or second-class passengers were spared inspection at Ellis Island altogether. Unless they exhibited some medical problem or a legal complication arose, they proceeded through customs at the arrival piers on the Hudson or East River and were allowed to enter the country without impediments. Third-class or steerage passengers, however, were ferried to Ellis Island where they were subjected to inspections conducted by the Public Health Service and the Bureau of Immigration.

Courtesy of: Library of Congress

Guilt by Association
In 1919, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer established what would become the FBI with J. Edgar Hoover as its head. During the ensuing “Red Scare,” thousands of alleged alien radicals were rounded up and detained on Ellis Island. Guilt by association was all the evidence needed for many hundreds of deportations. Moral panics targeting individuals identified as foreign or domestic enemies of the nation would flare up periodically, providing new inmates for Ellis Island.

Seen here is part of a group of 171 “aliens” declared to be in the country illegally waving goodbye to the Statue of Liberty from a Coast Guard cutter taking them from Ellis Island to Hoboken for deportation. Courtesy of: Library of Congress

C.L.R. James
The great Trinidadian scholar and author of The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, Cyril Lionel Robert James was one of those swept up during the peak of “McCarthyism” in the 1950s. He had been under surveillance by the government since his 1938 arrival and the U.S. The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, which was passed after James’s citizenship examination, was used against him retroactively as the legal justification for his deportation. James was distressed at being incarcerated with those identified as communists. A Pan-Africanist, he opposed totalitarian regimes and reviled Stalinism.

From Immigrant to Prisoner
Appalled by the conditions on the island and denied treatment for his stomach ulcer, C.L.R. James began to write his book Mariners, Renegades & Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and The World We Live In while incarcerated on Ellis Island, where he was held for six months. It was privately published in 1953 after his deportation. Rather than help his case, the book may have contributed to his deportation. James used the book to argue his appeal of the state’s decision to deport him, as well as to reimagine Moby Dick, which had only recently been raised to the status of an American classic. He argued that the allegory of the novel spoke to important issues of this fraught moment in American history. James lived the life of a nomad after his deportation. He was eventually able to return to the U.S., where he taught for some years.

An Imagined Community
C.L.R. James’s case, one among many, reminds us of what has been mostly forgotten: that Ellis Island was essentially a detention center from the 1930s until its closing. Though the majority of immigrants passed through the “Golden Door,” exclusion and deportation have been a part of the immigration process from the very beginning. Who was funneled in or filtered out shaped the American nation, often along racial lines. The conditions James described on Ellis Island in the 1950s cannot help but remind us of the conditions that caused the immigrant detainees at Esmor Detention Center to rebel in protest in 1995. This photo of immigration officers examining documents and immigrants at Ellis Island shows their role in making those determinations.

Courtesy of: Library of Congress

The Golden Venture
In 1954, the Immigration and Naturalization Service relaxed its detention policy. Immigration policy in the U.S. has been influenced to a greater or lesser extent by national security and foreign policy concerns. Until the 1970s, undocumented immigrants were released until their administrative hearings began. Over time, however, a number of events at home and abroad would contribute to increasingly harsh enforcement.

Increasingly, detention would be used as a deterrent, as greater and greater numbers of refugees sought asylum in the United States from Cuba, Haiti, Central America, and elsewhere. The war on drugs and “get tough on crime” policies around the country fed an explosion in mass incarceration. In February 1993, a first attempt was made by terrorists to bring down the World Trade Center, and in June of the same year, a freighter named “Golden Venture,” carrying over 300 Chinese asylum seekers ran aground off Rockaway, Queens, New York. These events brought terrorism and unauthorized immigration to national attention, increasing detention and deportations.

“Golden Venture Boat” created in 3-D origami style now known as “Golden Venture” origami. Courtesy of: Courtesy of MOCA

UPI Almanac for Monday, Nov. 12, 2018

Today is Monday, Nov. 12, the 316th day of 2018 with 49 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include women's suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1815 Baha'u'llah, born Mirza Husayn Ali, founder-prophet of the Baha'i faith, in 1817 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in 1908 Princess Grace of Monaco, former American movie star Grace Kelly, in 1929 cult leader Charles Manson in 1934 actor/playwright Wallace Shawn in 1943 (age 75) sportscaster Al Michaels in 1944 (age 74) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Booker T. Jones in 1944 (age 74) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Neil Young in 1945 (age 73) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 1948 (age 70) actor Megan Mullally in 1958 (age 60) Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci in 1961 (age 57) writer Naomi Wolf in 1962 (age 56) former baseball slugger Sammy Sosa in 1968 (age 50) Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in 1970 (age 48) actor Tamala Jones in 1974 (age 44) actor Ashley Williams in 1978 (age 40) actor Cote de Pablo in 1979 (age 39) actor Ryan Gosling in 1980 (age 38) actor Anne Hathaway in 1982 (age 36) rapper Omarion, born Omari Ishmael Grandberry, in 1984 (age 34).

In 1892, the first professional football game was played in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Athletic Association defeated the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, 4-0. Touchdowns at the time were worth 4 points.

In 1893, the Durand Line which marks the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was agreed to by Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat in British India, and the Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan.

In 1927, Joseph Stalin consolidated power in the Soviet Union following the expulsion of Leon Trotsky from the Soviet Communist Party.

In 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt pressed the Presidential Gold Key to officially open the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

In 1941, the German army's drive to take Moscow was halted on the city's outskirts in World War II.

In 1948, a war crimes tribunal in Japan sentenced former premier Hideki Tojo and six other World War II Japanese leaders to death by hanging. Tojo survived a suicide attempt three years earlier days after Japan had surrendered.

In 1954, after processing more than 12 million immigrants, the immigration station at Ellis Island closed its doors for the last time.

In 1980, the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed Saturn and sent back stunning pictures.

In 1982, former KGB chief Yuri Andropov succeeded the late Leonid Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

In 1990, Akihito was installed as the 125th emperor of Japan.

In 1997, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and Eyad Ismoil were convicted of involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. They were sentenced to life in prison. Four others had been convicted in 1994 and also received life sentences.

In 2001, an American Airlines Airbus A300 crashed shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport in New York, killing 265 people, including five on the ground.

In 2011, Silvio Berlusconi, longest serving Italian prime minister since Benito Mussolini, announced his resignation after the lower house of Parliament passed economic policies demanded by the European Union.

In 2017, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border left more than 600 people dead.

A thought for the day: "True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." -- Kurt Vonnegut

Watch the video: Government shuts down Ellis Island, Nov. 12, 1954


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