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     Immigrants Hall of Fame

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Walter Damrosch (1862-1950)
     Recognized as one of the foremost conductors of his day. Damrosch was born in Breslau, Poland. From 1903 to 1927 he was director of the New York Symphony Orchestra. He also conducted the Metropolitan Opera Company. In 1926 Damrosch began the first of many radio broadcasts in which he explained classical music. He composed the operas "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "The Man Without a Country." He also composed choral works, including "The Abraham Lincoln Song."

Meindert DeJong (1906-    )
Author of children’s books. "The Wheel on the School," about children in a Dutch fishing village, was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1955. DeJong was born in the Netherlands. He came to Michigan with his parents in 1918 and became a U.S. citizen in 1924.

Alexander P. De Servesky (1894-1974)
Aviator and airplane designer. He was responsible for a number of inventions, including the first automatic bomb sight, ski-equipped airplanes, and the first high-altitude fighter plane. De Servesky was born in Tbilisi, Russia, and attended the Imperial Naval Academy and the Russian School of Aeronautics. In World War I he shot down 13 enemy planes. He was shot down on a bombing mission in 1915 and lost his right leg.De Servesky came to the United States in 1918 and was a test pilot and engineer for the federal government. In 1957 he became consultant to the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force.

Pierre Jean de Smet (1801-1873)
     A Belgian Catholic missionary. He came to the United States in 1827 and as "Blackrobe" conducted missionary work among American Indians in the Midwest and Northwest. Father De Smet often acted as mediator between warring tribes and made peace between Indians and whites. In 1868, during an Indian uprising, De Smet walked into the camp of Sitting Bull, the Sioux chief, and won a temporary peace. He was said to have traveled 180,000 miles.

             Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992)
     Actress and singer, noted for her sultry voice, languid sexuality,  and sophisticated style. Dietrich was born in Berlin as  Maria Magdalene von Losch.  She achieved stardom in "The Blue Angel," a German film directed by Josef von Sternberg, who transformed her into a sex goddess. They continued their collaboration in "Morocco," "Blond Venus," and "The Devil is a Woman."
     She fled Nazi Germany and became a U.S. citizen in 1937.   Dietrich's image changed often in later films: a saloon singer in the comedy Destry Rides Again (1939), an aristocrat fallen on hard times in A Foreign Affair (1948), an outlaw in Rancho Notorious (1952), a tough madam in Touch of Evil (1958).
     An outspoken anti-Nazi, Dietrich won new celebrity during World War II with front-line shows for U.S. troops. From the 1950s into the mid-70s, she toured with a popular cabaret act.

Eleuthere du Pont de Nemours (1771-1834)
     The youngest son of Pierre du Pont. Born in Paris, France. In 1802 he established a gunpowder factory in Wilmington, Delaware. The firm became the chief maker of gunpowder for the United States and South American countries. It was the basis of the modern DuPont company.