This Month in History- April


April 1-7

Day Year Event
2 1891 Max Ernst born in Germany entered Ellis Island in 1941. He is a founding member of the Dada Art movement, and also inspired a movement called Abstract Expressionism. Ernst is known for his painting, sculptures, and works in mixed media.
6 1917 US entered the World War on the side of the Allied Powers of Britain, France, and Russia against the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Ellis Island is used to hold German merchant ship crews in custody.


April 8-14

Day Year Event
9 1888 Sol Hurok born Solomon Izrailevich Gurkov in Russia. He entered Ellis Island in 1906. He is known for promoting artists, include Isaac Stern, Van Cliburn, Marian Anderson, Arthur Rubinstein, and Margot Fonteyn, all of whom were world famous in their era.
11 1890 The federal government designates Ellis Island as the site for the Port of New York Immigration Station.
12 1912 RMS Titanic sets sail on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. It would never arrive at its intended port of New York City and many of the steerage passengers who would have been processed at Ellis Island perish at sea.
15 1904 Arshile Gorky born Vosdanik Adoian in Armenia, entered Ellis Island in 1920. A painter, he is known for his Surrealist style and his influence on Abstract Expressionism.


April 15-21

Day Year Event
17 1896 Señor Wences born Wenceslao Moreno in Spain, entered Ellis Island in 1936 and was detained for review by the Board of Special Inquiry. He is known for entertaining millions of people with his ventriloquist acts on "The Ed Sullivan Show", "The Muppet Show" and many others.
2001 The American Family Immigration History Center opened, which allows visitors to the center and the website to explore the records of passengers and members of ship's crews who entered the US through Ellis Island and the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924.
20 1897 Gregory through born in Russia. He entered Ellis Island in 1922. He started his career in New York City's Yiddish Players Troupe and went on to act, produce, and direct on Broadway and later in films.
21 1794 New York City formally deeds to New York State the only part of Ellis Island that was publicly owned, a narrow strip of mud between the water and the high-tide mark.


April 22-28

Day Year Event
22 1831 Pirates Charles Gibbs and Thomas J.Wansley are hung at Ellis Island. They led a mutiny, killing the captain and first mate when attempting to seize a cargo of silver.
1891 Nicola Sacco born in Italy and later entered the US through Ellis Island in 1908. He was, along with Bartolomeo Vanzetti, convicted and executed for murder. In 1977, a report detailed the unfair nature of the trial.
24 1874 Annie Moore is born in Cork, Ireland, she will become the first immigrant processed at Ellis Island.
27 1898 Ludwig Bemelmans born in Austria-Hungry (now an area part of Italy), entered Ellis Island in 1914. He chose to come to America rather than going to reform school. After WWI a publishing friend saw his illustrations and encouraged him to write a children's book. He is best known for the "Madeline" series.
28 1902 Wall Street lawyer William Williams gives up his practice generating $25,000 a year to become the Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island for which his salary is $5,000.


April 29-31

Day Year Event
30 1901 Simon Kuznets born in Ukraine, entered Ellis Island in 1922. He was awarded the Noble Prize in Economics in 1971.


Last updated: December 26, 2023

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