Today in History: Nov. 12

American Airlines Flight 587 crashed soon after taking off from John F. Kennedy International Airport 15 years ago today. Two-hundred-fifty-one passengers, nine crew, and five people on the ground in the Belle Harbor area of Queens died.

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The Ellis Island Immigrant Station (photo at top) was closed as a processing center on this date in 1954.

Over a million and a half immigrants had passed through the first station in its five years in use, from 1892 to 1897, when a fire destroyed it. The new building, which was opened for business in December 1900, was built to process 5000 immigrants per day, but it was a rare day when the number was that small. In 1907, over a million were processed through Ellis Island.

More than twelve million individuals came through the new station, including my great-grandmother, Bella, in the next half-century. It is the 1900 building which still stands as a museum.

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee published the first formal proposal for the World Wide Web on this date in 1990.

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Percival Lowell died 100 years ago today. William Holden died 35 years ago today.

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Bukka White was born 110 years ago. “Aberdeen Mississippi Blues” and “Poor Boy” live:

Justice Harry Blackmun was born on this date in 1908. Roland Barthes was born 101 years ago on this date. Grace Kelly was born on this date in 1929.

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Charles Manson is 82. Mills Lane is 79. Wallace Shawn is 73 today. Al Michaels is 72. Neil Young is 71. “Pocahontas”:

Tracy Kidder is 71. Rhonda Shear is 62. Nadia Comăneci is 55. Naomi Wolf is 54. Sammy Sosa is 48. Ian Bremmer is 47. Ryan Gosling is 36. Anne Hathaway is 34 today.

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