Today in History, November 12: 1954 –
Ellis Island in New York Harbor, which had seen millions of legal immigrants processed through since it’s opening in 1892, closes for good. It had been used continuously to process immigrants, and also as a military hospital and a facility to process illegal immigrants out.
A few of those that claimed America as their home via Ellis that you may know (according to the National Park Service, which now manages the Island)…Isaac Asimov (science fiction author extraordinaire), Charles Atlas (fitness), Irving Berlin (White Christmas and much more), Frank Capra (It’s a Wonderful Life and more), Claudette Colbert (silent film actress), Max Factor (cosmetics magnate), Samuel Goldwyn (Hollywood mogul), Bob Hope (Mr. USO and decades of acting), Al Jolson (actor), Meyer Lansky (gangster), Bela Lugosi (the original scary actor), HYMAN G. RICKOVER (pioneer of our nuclear Navy), Edward G. Robinson (actor), KNUTE ROCKNE (football hero when it meant something), Igor Sikorsky (helicopter pioneer), Lee Strasberg (actor), Baron Von Trapp (The Sound of Music)….so much history. Oh, and of course….Vito Corleone….