Tags: Immigration | Ellis Island | history

History of Ellis Island

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Oct 2015 03:18 PM

In 1892, the first immigrants passed through the doors of the newly opened Ellis Island immigration station, housed on a small island that sits in New York Harbor near the New Jersey coastline. It functioned as an immigration reception facility until 1954.

About 12 million immigrants seeking freedom and a better life entered through Ellis Island during the federal immigration station’s 62 years of operation. According to History.com, "it has been estimated that close to 40 percent of all current U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors to Ellis Island."

The immigrants came from many nations including Germany, Ireland, Britain, Russia, Poland, Greece, Turkey among many others, History.com noted.

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The first station on the island burned to the ground in June 1897, according to the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation. With it, many immigration records were lost. Under order of the U.S. Treasury, it was rebuilt as a more fireproof structure, which opened in December 1900.

Its most prolific years occurred from 1900 to 1914 when the station saw an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 immigrants a day. While some got through quickly, within hours, others had a tougher time, waiting days or even weeks until they moved on to the new life in the United States.

Fewer immigrants arrived after lawmakers passed the Immigrant Quota Act of 1921 and the National Origins Act of 1924. Those measures limited how many immigrants could come and put quotas on certain nations.

The landmark for freedom, which included the famed Statue of Liberty, opened to the public in 1976. It remains a popular tourist destination for many visiting New York City. Many seek to find the names of family members who got their start at Ellis Island decades before.

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In 1892, the first immigrants passed through the doors of the newly opened Ellis Island immigration station, housed on a small island that sits in New York Harbor near the New Jersey coastline. It functioned as an immigration reception facility until 1954.
Ellis Island, history
309
2015-18-20
Tuesday, 20 Oct 2015 03:18 PM
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