This Month in History- January


January 1-7

Day Year Event
1 1892 Ellis Island opened as an Immigration Station in New York Harbor and processed nearly 700 immigrants the first day. The first immigrant processed was Annie Moore, a teenager from Ireland.
1900 Xavier Cugat born Francisco de Asis Javier Cugat Mingall de Bru y Deulofeu in Girona, Spain, entered Ellis Island on July 16, 1915. He is known for making dances such as the Tango, Cha-cha, Mambo, and Rumba famous.
4 1901 CLR James born Cyril Lionel Robert James in Trinidad, entered Ellis Island in 1938 for a 6-week lecture tour that lasted 15 years. He would eventually be deported through Ellis Island, then return to the United States and taught briefly at University of the District of Columbia.
6 1882 Theofan (Fan) Stilian Noli was born in Eastern Thrace (the area of Turkey geographically in Europe) entered Ellis Island in 1906. Noli was a co-creator of the Albanian Orthodox Church and later returned to his native land and was made Albania's prime minister in 1924.
1883 Khalil (Kahlil) Gibran born in Bsharri, Lebanon. He immigrated through Ellis Island as a young man. The writer and poet is known for The Prophet, a book of 26 poetic essays that has been translated into many languages.


January 8-14

Day Year Event
9 1892 The first death among the immigrants on Ellis Island occurs, as Hungarian Emma Kanutzen dies of pneumonia. She would later be buried at Greenwood Cemetery at the expense of the Treasury Department.
11 1886 George Zucco born in Manchester, England. An actor, he appeared in nearly one hundred feature films including: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Mummy's Hand, The Mad Monster, My Favorite Blonde, Tarzan and the Mermaids, and David and Bathsheba.
12 1998 The United States Supreme Court hears rival claims to Ellis Island. New Jersey and New York each argue that the island lies in their jurisdiction.


January 15-21

Day Year Event
16 1885 Irene Bordoni born in France. Entered through Ellis Island in 1907, the actress became popular in the 1920s on Broadway in Cole Porter's Paris. She also appeared in American-made movies Paris, The Show of Shows, Du Barry Did Alright, and Louisiana Purchase.
1905 The appointment of Robert Watchorn as Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island is announced. Watchorn, an English immigrant himself, was serving as Commissioner of Immigration at Montreal.
20 1785 Samuel Ellis advertises to sell Oyster Island, now known as Ellis Island. No one purchased the island and he would continue to own it until his death in 1794. The United States government would then acquire the island from Ellis' heirs and build Fort Gibson.
1920 Isaac Asimov born in Petrovichi, USSR. Entered through Ellis Island in 1923. The writer is known for his science fiction writings. Titles include Nightfall, Pebble in the Sky, The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, Foundation trilogy, I, Robot, and The Gods Themselves.


January 22-28

Day Year Event
27 1900 Admiral Hyman G. Rickover born in Makow, Russia. Entered through Ellis Island in 1904, he designed the first commissioned nuclear powered ship in the US Navy, a submarine called the USS Nautilus. Decommissioned in 1980, Nautilus is now a designated National Historic Landmark.


January 29-31


Last updated: December 13, 2018

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Statue of Liberty National Monument

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