Annette Kellerman - promotes women’s right to wear fitted bathing suits. She was later arrested for indecency.
When Annette Kellerman stepped out onto Revere Beach in 1907 wearing a one-piece bathing suit that ended in shorts above her knees, her legs caused a scandal. Police were called, and she was arrested for indecency.
Those legs had also made her famous: The Australian swimmer held all the world records for women’s swimming in 1905. She was a vaudeville star with an act full of high dives and underwater ballet. Newspapers hailed her as “The Original Mermaid.’’
But Victorian-era vacationers didn’t care to feel the sea or sun on their skin. In the early 1900s, women waded into the water in black, knee-length, puffed-sleeved wool dresses worn over bloomers with long black stockings, bathing slippers, and even ribboned swim caps.
Kellerman may have been thoroughly covered, but to her fellow bathers, she may as well have been naked.
Immigrants of Ellis Island - over one million immigrants passed through Ellis Island in New York, seeking a better life in the USA
Between 1905 and 1914, an average of one million immigrants per year arrived in the United States. Immigration officials reviewed about 5,000 immigrants per day during peak times at Ellis Island. Two-thirds of those individuals emigrated from eastern, southern and central Europe. The peak year for immigration at Ellis Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 immigrants processed. The all-time daily high occurred on April 17, 1907, when 11,747 immigrants arrived.
Generally, those immigrants who were approved spent from two to five hours at Ellis Island. Arrivals were asked 29 questions including name, occupation, and the amount of money carried. It was important to the American government that the new arrivals could support themselves and have money to get started. The average the government wanted the immigrants to have was between 18 and 25 dollars ($600 in 2015 adjusted for inflation).
Those with visible health problems or diseases were sent home or held in the island’s hospital facilities for long periods of time. More than three thousand would-be immigrants died on Ellis Island while being held in the hospital facilities. Some unskilled workers were rejected because they were considered “likely to become a public charge.” About 2 percent were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as having a chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity.
Today, over 100 million Americans—about one-third to forty percent of the population of the United States—can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis Island before dispersing to points all over the country.