This Month in History- November

1-7 | 8-14 | 15-21 | 22-28 | 29-30


November 1 - 7

Day Year Event
1 1919 John H. Secondari born in Rome, Italy. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1923. He attended Fordham and Columbia Universities and served in the U.S. Army before he became an award-winning television documentary producer.
1950 The Ellis Island ferry is damaged in a crash with another ferry just south of the Battery. The crash results in about $5,000 in damages but no injuries to crew or passengers.
4 1909 Pauline Trigère born in Paris, France. She entered the United States in 1937 with her husband after fleeing fascism in Europe. She became an award-winning fashion designer.
7 1927 Stowaway Ettore De Stephano fails to escape detention at Ellis Island. He attempts to swim to Jersey City, but gives up. He had previously attempted to make it to the mainland: one time by diving from a porthole and swimming away, and later by breaking a lock in his detention room on the island.


November 8-14

Day Year Event
11 1904 Joe Penner born in Austria-Hungary (present day Serbia). He entered through Ellis Island as a boy in 1910. He became a famous radio and film comedian in the 1930s. He was known for his popular catch phrase "Wanna buy a duck?" and for his deep "hyuck-hyuck" laugh.
12 1954 Ellis Island Immigration Station shuts down. Arne Peterssen, a seaman detained for overstaying his shore leave, is the last immigrant processed at Ellis Island. He is released on parole to return to his native Norway.


November 15-21

Day Year Event
15 1882 Felix Frankfurter born in Austria. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1894. In 1939, FDR appointed him to the Supreme Court where he served for over 23 years in the position.
16 1904 "Zik" born Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe in Nigeria. He was detained at Ellis Island in 1925 for having an expired student visa. After completing his studies he returned to Africa and later became the first President of Nigeria.
17 1905 Mischa Auer born Mikhail Unskovsky in Russia. He entered the US through Ellis Island in 1920. He appeared in films including My Man Godfrey and You Can't Take It With You.
18 1774 Samuel Ellis Purchases Little Oyster Island. It would become known as Sam Ellis' Island or simply Ellis Island. Ellis used the island for its namesake oysters, selling them from a shop in Manhattan and opening a tavern on Ellis Island until his death in 1794.


November 22-28

Day Year Event
27 1767 John Beekman buys Oyster Island for ten shillings. The island would be sold to Samuel Ellis seven years later.


November 29-30

Day Year Event
29 1954 The ferry Ellis Island makes its final trip back to the abandoned Ellis Island. It would remain docked at the ferry slip for years until it sank in a storm.


Last updated: December 13, 2018

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Ellis Island Receiving Center
Statue of Liberty National Monument

Jersey City, NJ 07305


212 363-3200

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