Ellis Island was a place where immigrants came to the United States. On January 1, 1892, the island opened in New York Harbor. Ellis Island closed in 1954, but you can visit a museum there today. About 40% of the people who live in the United States today are related to people who came to Ellis Island.
17 year-old Annie Moore and her brothers were the first immigrants at Ellis Island. They left their hometown of Queenstown, Ireland on December 20, 1891. They traveled across the Atlantic to start a new life in a new land. Their parents and two older siblings were already in the United States. Annie Moore was the first immigrant to be processed. But over the years, 12 million more people would come through Ellis Island.
Some of them were famous! Bob Hope became a famous entertainer. He came to the United States from Bristol, English in 1908. Irving Berlin was a music writer. He was a Russian Jewish immigrant who came through Ellis Island as a child in 1893. He went on to write about 1500 songs, including “God Bless America.”
Albert Einstein immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1921. He had already done a lot of important work in science. He won a prize for his work in physics when he lived in the United States. He was one of the most famous scientists in the world.
What Do You Think? How are immigrants important to America?
Photo Credit: NPS Photo