Ellis Island Opens, 1892

It is 1892. You are a European immigrant. You have decided to brave the journey from Ireland to America to see the “streets paved with gold” and for the promise of a better life. You are leaving famine behind. You are leaving family behind too. They tell you that you are getting close, but all you see is fog, until out in the distance the unmistakable silhouette of the Statue of Liberty appears. You have arrived.

Statue of Liberty

Ellis Island

On her 15th birthday, Annie Moore became the first person to enter America through Ellis Island.

Annie Moore and her brothers at Ellis Island.

Ellis Island is located in Upper New York Bay and was the gateway for roughly 12 million immigrants from 1892 to 1954. In fact, about 40% of Americans can trace their ancestry to the island.

Unfortunately, the island (now a national monument and museum) is closed to the public today- on its 121st birthday- because of Hurricane Sandy.

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