Face of America: Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Between 1897 and 1938, immigration changed the face of America. More than 100 million citizens in the United States can trace their ancestry to an immigrant who landed at New York’s Ellis Island. Ellis Island is more than a museum, it is hallowed ground; it is the place where many immigrants from all over the world first touched American soil. Through the museum’s oral history project and through the everyday objects on display — a pair of boots, a cooking pot, religious artifacts and traditional clothing — the museum strives to “give voice” to people whose lives have not typically been seen as history.

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An Arduous JourneyView larger

An Arduous Journey

Though some immigrants were fortunate enough to make the ocean crossing in luxurious conditions, many traveled to America in “classic steerage,” which could mean as many as 2,000 people crammed into the lower parts of the ship. It was third class. And third class passengers were the only ones who had to come through Ellis Island.

A Waiting GameView larger

A Waiting Game

Ships filled with passengers awaiting processing lined the docks on the Jersey shore. Immigrants were then ferried to Ellis Island. About 5,000 immigrants were processed on an average day – if they were lucky, travelers got off the ferry the same day they got on.

Becoming AmericansView larger

Becoming Americans

Ethnic enclaves grew in many cities since about two-thirds of the immigrants spread out to other parts of the country, dispersing a wide variety of cultural traditions into the United States. But they all had one thing in common: they wanted to be American.

Saving Ellis IslandView larger

Saving Ellis Island

Ellis Island was closed in 1954. In 1965 it became part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The badly deteriorated buildings were restored with funds raised by the American people. The main building, housing the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, reopened 90 years after it had welcomed its first travelers.

Emotional TiesView larger

Emotional Ties

The Ellis Island Oral History project prompts emotional recollections from immigrants and family members. Recorded reminiscences give a glimpse of the joy, the pain, the hardships and the dreams of the immigrant experience.

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Mariposa:  I love NYC! Here are some ideas of what you can do while in NYC. First, get a good tour map. Then I recommend you take the BIG APPLE dolbue decker tour bus for an overview of the city. There are several different neighborhoods so I'll highlight these and what to see:Upper East Side: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim, Whitney Museum. Walk up and down Madison Avenue for awesome shops and boutiques 96th 57th st. Walk Park Avenue for architecture all the way to Grand Central Terminal and see the treasures located within. Walk along 5th Avenue to see/go in and out of Central Park go for a run, go to the Central Park Zoo, go to the Carousel, go for a gondola ride at the boat house.UPPER WEST SIDE:Museum of Natural History -a must! on Central Park West,Walk along Columbus Avenue. Visit the West side of Central Park and pay respects to John Lennon's Strawberry Fields.MIDTOWN:Shopping 57th St (Chanel and the gang), Fifth Avenue must see Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and FAO Schwartz many other fun stores.St. Patrick's CathedralMuseum of Modern ArtSony BldgRockefeller CenterGo west to awesome new Time Warner center and visit the new Mandarin Hotel bar/restaurant for awesome view and treats!Oh, Bloomingdale's is on 59th St and Lexington.Empire State Bldg.The Intrepid Aircraft Museum is fascinating and on the West side worth the visit even if you have no kids.CHELSEA:Walk around the blooming area sprouting awesome restaurants and shops. Chelsea Pier is fun.WALL ST:Pay respects to the 9/11 victims and heroes at the WTC site., Walk Wall St., visit the Chase Hdqtrs, Federal Reserve. Seaport area is great to see.THE VILLAGE:Funky shops in the West Village. Walk through the NYU Washington Square Park. The East Village has some shops from new artists and designersSOHO:Great galleries and shops on n off West Broadway. Walk thru to Little Italy for awesome meals and desserts walk through Chinatown. CANAL STREET has stall after stall of Designer copies bring cash and bargain and watch your purse!These should put an awesome smile on your face. Bring your camera and takes lots of photos to remember your trip. You'll have a blast! OH BUY this weekly magazine: TIMEOUT NEW YORK on any newstand to see what's going on each week/day.

posted on 08-29-2012

tom:  What is the legacy of ellis island?

posted on 09-07-2015

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posted on 03-07-2019

Bobby free:  Would like to know if you have any documents on samuel free.

posted on 03-07-2019

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