This Month in History- August


August 1-7

Day Year Event
1 1970 Sixty-three black men, women, and children belonging to a group called the National Economic Growth and Reconstruction Organization (NERGO) end their thirteen day occupation of Ellis Island. Dr. Thomas W. Matthew organized the band of illegal squatters at Ellis Island, and announced his intentions to lease and perhaps eventually purchase the island from the National Park Service in order to develop it as a rehabilitation center for 2,500 drug addicts, alcoholics, ex-convicts, and their families.
4 1914 Britain declares was on Germany. The World War would make Atlantic Ocean crossings extremely dangerous, as German U-boats would sink passenger ships. As a result, immigration at Ellis Island dropped from 892,652 in 1913 to just 28,867 in 1918.


August 8-14

Day Year Event
10 1894 Twelve year old boy Felix Frankfurter passes inspection at Ellis Island. He would go on to become a successful lawyer, a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference negotiating the end of WW I, and a Supreme Court Justice.
1968 After 14 years moored at her berth at Ellis Island following discontinuance of service, the ferry Ellis Island sank.


August 15-21

Day Year Event
15 1894 Alfred Levitt born in Russia. Entered Ellis Island in 1911. He is known for paintings that were inspired by the fishing village of Gloucester, Massachusetts and pre-historic cave paintings of France. Some of his work can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and some of it was featured at Ellis Island in 1997 and 1998.
17 1887 Marcus Garvey born in Jamaica. Entered Ellis Island in 1916. He published the newspaper the Negro World in Harlem from 1918 to 1933. His goal was to end colonization and allow people to determine their own fate.
1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs an act authorizing an appropriation of $6,000,000 to develop Ellis Island as a part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.
18 1872 Max Factor born in Russia. Entered Ellis Island in 1904. He won the 1928 Oscar for successful use of cosmetics in the film industry.
1896 Alan Mowbray born in England. Entered Ellis Island in 1920. He made over 160 film and television appearance, and become one of the most recognized actors. He appeared in Sherlock Holmes,Topper, and The Beverly Hillbillies.
1970 Squatters who earlier occupied Ellis Island for 13 days are given permission to return to the island and turn it into a rehabilitation center for 2,500 narcotics addicts, former convicts, and their families.


August 22-28

Day Year Event
25 1910 Ruby Keeler, born Ethel Hilda Keeler in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She immigrated in 1912, and became an actress.
28 1883 E.E. Clive, born Edward E. Clive in Wales. Entered through Ellis Island in 1912. He is best known for the continuous role in the Bulldog Drummond series; other works included Bride of Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice.
1899 James Wong Howe, born Wong Tung Jim in China. He was detained on Ellis Island on August 12, 1927 for "Chinese Inspection." A famous cinematographer, he made his impact on Hollywood by enhancing scenes through lighting and shadows. Some of his most famous work includes The Rose Tattoo and Funny Lady.


August 29-31

Day Year Month
31 1897 Two-year-old boy Moses Teichman passes inspection at Ellis Island. He would grow up in Manhattan's Lower East Side and begin teaching dance at age 17. He would later change his name to Arthur Murray and become a successful businessman, franchising his dance studios across the world.


Last updated: December 13, 2018

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Statue of Liberty National Monument

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