This Month in History- October


October 1-7

Day Year Event
1 1691 The New York Colonial Legislature passes an act that includes a confirmation that the three Oyster Islands are within the boundaries of New York County. One of those islands would later be renamed Ellis Island. New York and New Jersey would continue to debate the jurisdiction of the islands for hundreds of years.
1876 The U.S. Supreme Court rules in the case of Henderson v. Mayor of New York that state governments cannot levy a tax on incoming passengers. Furthermore the court rules that regulating immigration is a federal responsibility. Eventually the federal government would establish a series of immigration stations, including Ellis Island.
3 1880 Warner Oland born Johan Verner Ölund in Sweden. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1894. He is best known for portraying detective Charlie Chan in Charlie Chan Carries On and an additional 15 films as that character.
1965 In a ceremony at the Statue of Liberty, President Lyndon Johnson signs into law measures repealing discriminatory features of the Immigration Law of 1924.
4 1886 Luis Alberni born in Barcelona, Spain. He entered through Ellis Island in April of 1912. He is known for acting in such films as What Price Glory? and Road to Zanzibar.
1908 Canadian-born "Frank Woodhull" arrives and is detained when it is discovered that this person is really Mary Johnson, a woman who's been living disguised as a man for 15 years. A Board of Special Inquiry decides the next day that she is free to enter the United States.
7 1879 Joseph "Joe Hill" Hillstrom born Joel Emmanuel Häggland in Sweden. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1902. He is known for work done as a labor activist, which included the composing of songs including "There Is Power in a Union" and "We Will Sing One Song."


October 8-14

Day Year Event
9 1912 Charlie Chaplin and Arthur Stanley Jefferson pass inspection at Ellis Island as part of a troupe of actors embarking on an American tour. They went on to great success as actors. Charlie Chaplin became a worldwide icon for "the Tramp." Jefferson changed his name to Stan Laurel and partnered with Oliver Hardy for the Laurel and Hardy comedy double act.
12 1886

Karl Dane born Rasmus Karl Therkelsen Gottlieb in Denmark. He entered the US through Ellis Island. He is known for his work as a silent screen actor staring at MGM studios. Some of his films include The Big Parade and Billy the Kid.


October 15-21

Day Year Event
15 1966 Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
19 1903 Tor Johnson was born in Sweden. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1923. He spent most of his life as a professional wrestler then transitioned into movies where he appeared in The Foreign Land with Abbot and Costello and Road to Rio.
20 1882 Bela Lugosi born Béla Ferenc Dezso Blaskó in Austria-Hungary (currently Romania). He entered the United States illegally in 1920. He was allowed to stay after having an immigration appeal case at Ellis Island in 1921. Lugosi is best known for his role as "Dracula."


October 22-28


October 29-31

Day Year Event
30 1892 Charles Atlas born Angelo Siciliano in Italy. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1903. He developed the "Dynamic Tension" exercise system in 1921, as a way for muscle groups to work against each other to help develop muscle groups.
1939 Plans to turn part of Ellis Island into a Coast Guard training station are announced. The Coast Guard would train about 60,000 servicemen at Ellis Island until decommissioning the station in 1946.


Last updated: December 13, 2018

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Statue of Liberty National Monument

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