This Month in History- September


September 1-7

Day Year Event
7 1892 A cholera epidemic among European immigrants draws to a close. All immigrant ships are inspected and declared disease free. After dozens of deaths in the previous week, no immigrants succumb to the disease. Arriving immigrant ships had been quarantined and their passengers prevented from proceeding to Ellis Island for inspection.
1909 Elia Kazan born Elias Kazantjoglou in the Ottoman Empire (now part of Turkey). Entering through Ellis Island in 1913 the director won two Oscars for Best Director for Gentleman's Agreement and On the Waterfront. He also directed stage productions of Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar Named Desire.


September 8-14

Day Year Event
8 1925 Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe is detained for a hearing at Ellis Island regarding an expired student visa. He later became the first president of Nigeria.
10 1990 Ellis Island Immigration Museum opens after a seven-year, $156 million restoration effort-the largest historical restoration in the history of the United States.
11 2002 President George W. Bush addresses the nation from Ellis Island, commemorating the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
13 1903 Claudette Colbert born Émilie "Lily" Claudette Chauchoin in Paris, France. She entered the US through Ellis Island in 1911, became an actress, and won an Oscar for It Happened One Night.
1918 Dick Haymes born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Entered through Ellis Island in 1921. He would later become a popular vocalist in live shows, radios, hit records, movies and television.
1922 Yma Sumac born Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo in Peru. She entering the US through Ellis Island in 1954 and was detained for a short period of time. Well known for exotica music, she was an international success based on her impressive vocal range.
14 1893 Five-year-old boy Israel Beilin passes inspection at Ellis Island. He would settle in the Jewish neighborhood of the Lower East Side of Manhattan with his family. He would develop his songwriting and performing talents and change his name to Irving Berlin. He would go on to pen such classics as "God Bless America" and "White Christmas," along with numerous Broadway and film scores.
1901 Lucien Aigner born in Hungary. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1939. A photographer and pioneering photojournalist, he is well-known for photographing Albert Einstein.


September 15-21

Day Year Event
15 1906 Seven month old baby Henry Youngman passes inspection at Ellis Island. He grew up in Brooklyn, and became an accomplished violinist and comedian.
16 1903

President Teddy Roosevelt visited Ellis Island to inspect how immigrants are processed.

17 1900 Jules White born in Budapest, Hungary and later enters the US through Ellis Island. He is known for his work as a director and producer for the Three Stooges.
18 1956 The General Services Administration placed advertisements in the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers offering Ellis Island for sale. The purchaser would receive 27.5 acres of land and 35 buildings, containing office and storage space, a greenhouse, library, dining and baggage rooms, dormitories, and a school.
21 1897 Hubert Julian born in Trinidad. He entered the US in 1920. He is known as an African American aviation pioneer and for taking part in many important flights. In 1935, he was detained on Ellis Island over confusion about his British citizenship.
1914 John Kluge born in Germany. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1922. After serving in the US Army in WW II, he became a television industry magnate. Very wealthy, his most well-known philanthropic donations were to the Library of Congress (John W. Kluge Center), Columbia University, and the University of Virginia.


September 22-28

Day Year Event
22 1885 Erich von Stroheim born Erich Oswald Stroheim in Vienna, Austria. He entered Ellis Island in 1909. An actor, director, screenwriter, and producer, he is known for his Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in Sunset Boulevard.
1922 Congress passes the Married Women's Independent Nationality Act, also known as the Cable Act. This act reversed former immigration laws whereby a woman lost her US citizenship if she married a foreign man. However, The Cable Act guaranteed independent female citizenship only to women who were married to an "alien eligible for naturalization," which did not include Asians.
23 1950 Congress overrides President Truman's veto and passes the McCarran Internal Security Act, which excludes arriving aliens with previous links to Communist and Fascist organizations.
24 1956 President Eisenhower suspends the planned sale of Ellis Island to provide time for further study of what to do with the historic site.
26 1998 US Supreme Court rules that NJ has jurisdiction over the landfill portions of Ellis Island, which makes up most of the island's land surface. NY retained jurisdiction over the original 3.5 acres on which the bulk of the Main Building is built.
27 1892 The passengers of the SS Rugia, with thirteen from the SS Scandia, were released from quarantine at Camp Low in Sandy Hook, New Jersey and sent to Ellis Island. These passengers were declared free of cholera, after a detention of twenty-four days since disembarking from Hamburg, where a cholera pandemic had killed approximately 8,500 people.


September 29-31

Day Year Event
30 1875 Fred Fisher born in Cologne, Germany and entered the US through Ellis Island in 1900. He composed hits such as Chicago and Ireland Must Be Heaven.
1894 Lewis Milestone born Lev Milstein in Bessarabia, Russia (now part of Moldova). He entered Ellis Island in 1912. He won Academy Awards for directing Two Arabian Knights and All Quiet on the Western Front.


Last updated: December 13, 2018

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