This Weekend In History

Ellis Island Closes

November 12, 1954

Ellis Island in upper New York closes. It had processed 12 million immigrants since its opening in 1892.
In 1897, the wooden building caught fire and burned to ground, losing most of the immigration records dating back to 1855. A new fireproof building was then built to take its place.

First U.S. Underground Automobile Tunnel

November 13, 1927

The Holland Tunnel opens, connecting New York and New Jersey. It was at the time the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in the world. Construction had begun in 1920. It was named after the chief engineer of the tunnel Clifford Milburn Holland, who died during its construction. Holland died of a heart attack at the age of 41 after having been sent to a health clinic following a nervous breakdown caused by the long hours and stress caused by working in the compressed air of the tunnel.

U.S. Navy Attempts to Assassinate President Roosevelt?

November 14, 1943

The USS William D. Porter accidentally launches a torpedo towards the USS Iowa with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard. The USS Iowa narrowly avoided the torpedo. The previous day, the Porter had accidentally dropped a depth charge near the Iowa, making the crew and President think they were under attack by German U-boats. When he heard about the incoming torpedo, wheelchair-bound Roosevelt asked that he be moved to the edge of the ship so that he could watch. Believing that the Porter might be involved in an assassination attempt, the captain and entire crew were arrested and investigated.