History: November 12

1864

General Sherman begins his March to the Sea with the destruction of Atlanta.

Union troops had captured the stronghold in September, and Sherman spent time fortifying his position and well-supplying his troops.

When Sherman was ready to push through Georgia, he ordered the city demolished. He didn’t want Confederates to have the chance to recover anything valuable.

When they left on November 15, all that remained was smokey ruins.

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1954

Ellis Island shuts down as the processing center for immigrants coming into America.

Beginning in 1892, it was designated the first federal immigration processing center. Prior to then, states handled immigrants individually. Go figure.

Ellis Island was reserved for the poorest passengers, who were inspected to ensure they weren’t carrying some new strain of infectious disease and weren’t on the lam from their home country.

Only about 2 out of 100 immigrants were turned away.

1907 was the busiest year, when 1 million immigrants were processed. That’s about 2,800 a day.

Today, it’s a museum.

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1979

President Carter orders an end to any oil imports from Iran.

The move followed the raid on the US Embassy in Tehran on November 4, where 66 Americans remained captive.

Oil prices skyrocketed as supply plummeted.

Carter was handily defeated the following November.

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1982

Yuri Andropov becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

He succeeded Lenoid Brezhnev.

Andropov looked to tackle internal social issues, particularly combatting alcoholism, which was running rampant among the Soviet populace.

He also dealt with pressure from President Reagan, who was aggressively anti-communist.

Andropov’s reign was short-lived. He died in February 1984.