A Last Hurrah for Ocean Liner Immigration

A Last Hurrah for Ocean Liner Immigration

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On 11 November 1954, 7,200 men and women of every race from more than 50 countries, including my father, were sworn in as US citizens at a special court session held in Ebbets Field, home of baseball’s legendary Brooklyn Dodgers. Almost all of these people arrived in America on board an ocean liner. (Queen Mary brought my family over.)

Times were changing, however. Although it wasn’t the planners’ intention, the ceremony represented, in effect, the last massive wave of ocean liner-enabled immigration to America before airliners became the primary means of intercontinental transportation.

US Attorney General Herbert Brownwell made the formal motion that the petitions for citizenship be granted, and Judge Robert Inch administered the oath.

I was born 10 days later. If my mother had attended the ceremony with my father, I might have been born in Ebbets Field.

Both the Dodgers and I have since moved west. Ebbets Field was demolished in 1960. Vin Scully, who has broadcast Dodger games on radio and television since 1950, will retire at the end of the current season. My father passed away in 1978.

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