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4th of July  


Ellis Island: Supplemental for 4th of July Lesson
By Sarah Lane
Jun 29, 2008, 13:22 PST



Ellis Island

Ellis Island History

Ellis Island

As people left the familiarity of the 'Old World' and embarked upon their journey to the New, they gave up every known comfort.  Passengers traveled sometimes up to two months before reaching Ellis Island, the entrance to America.  Conditions were grave and many people didn't survive the trip due to starvation and disease.  If they did, they were subjected to a very long inspection process. 

Armed with tags pinned to their clothes, men, woman and children went through five hours of testing to prove themselves a capable human being.  Aside from intelligence tests there were doctor's present looking for any of 60 symptoms that might force them to turn someone down.  In all, 2% of immigrants were denied entry into the country.  During its peak years, 1892-1924, Ellis Island admitted about 5,000 people a day.  Over 60 million people were recorded entering the states from the 19th to the early 20th century. 

Ellis Island closed its doors in 1954.  The familiar red brick buildings and four huge towers standing 140 feet high would suffer the effects of nature alone for several years.  Ellis Island eventually became part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965 and was properly restored.  It reopened its doors in September 1990, not to immigrants but to their descendents for historical remembrance.
Today, the main building is now the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which commemorates the stories of the immigrants and preserves the image of the American Dream for generations to come.

Source:     ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment, Inc.

Additional Learning Links for Ellis Island

 

Immigration Museum

Check here for an overview of the island, timeline of its history, and more.  There are stories of the passage across the Atlantic, the inspection process, the time period when the U.S. entered WWI and closed its door to immigrants, and the recent restoration of Ellis Island.

Source:              ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment, Inc.

Reading Level:   Moderate

 

Immigration History Center

Explore your family history at the American Family Immigration History Center.  Research passenger records from ships that brought the immigrants or build your own scrapbook.

Source:              The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

Reading Level:   Moderate

 

Images of the Island 
� University of California, Riverside & Keystone-Mast

These 24 images were taken in the early 20th century on Ellis Island.  Learn why they would have been sold to schools and libraries as well as more wealthy families as educational sets.

Source:              University of California, Riverside & Keystone-Mast

                           Collection, CA Museum of Photography

Reading Level:   Easy

 

Wall of Honor

The American Immigrant Wall of Honor is an interesting piece of American history.  Search the wall for your family's name, discover your roots, links to your heritage,and more.

Source:              The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

Reading Level:   Easy

 

Library of Congress Images

These selected images of Ellis Island from 1880-1920 are black and white photos depicting the immigration process.  Click on each image for a larger view.

Source:              Library of Congress

Reading Level:   Easy

 






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