Ellis Island
Overview
 
Ellis Island in New York Harbor
New York Harbor
New York Harbor refers to the waterways of the estuary near the mouth of the Hudson River that empty into New York Bay. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Although the U.S. Board of Geographic Names does not use the term, New York Harbor has important historical, governmental,...

 was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

 between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990.
Encyclopedia
Ellis Island in New York Harbor
New York Harbor
New York Harbor refers to the waterways of the estuary near the mouth of the Hudson River that empty into New York Bay. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Although the U.S. Board of Geographic Names does not use the term, New York Harbor has important historical, governmental,...

 was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

 between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990. A 1998 United States Supreme Court decision found most of the island to be part of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

.

Geography and access

Ellis Island is located in Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City is the seat of Hudson County, New Jersey, United States.Part of the New York metropolitan area, Jersey City lies between the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay across from Lower Manhattan and the Hackensack River and Newark Bay...

 and is situated in the Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay, or Upper Bay, is the traditional heart of the Port of New York and New Jersey, and often called New York Harbor. It is enclosed by the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island and the Hudson County, New Jersey municipalities of Jersey City and Bayonne.It...

 east of Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is located on Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, New Jersey, opposite the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The park opened in 1976 to coincide with bicentennial celebrations and is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.-Geography and...

 and north of Liberty Island
Liberty Island
Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the turn of the century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D...

. The island has a land area of 27.5 acres (11.1 ha), most of which was created through land reclamation
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

. The original portion of the island is 3.3 acres (1.3 ha) and is an exclave of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, while reclaimed areas are part of Jersey City. The entire island has been owned and administered by the U.S. federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 since 1808. It is currently operated by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

.

Public access is by ferry from either Communipaw Terminal
Communipaw Terminal
Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, sometimes known as Communipaw Terminal was the Central Railroad of New Jersey's waterfront passenger terminal at the mouth of the Hudson River at the Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, New Jersey.-Designation:...

 in Liberty State Park or from Battery Park
Battery Park
Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City, facing New York Harbor. The Battery is named for artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city's early years in order to protect the settlement behind them...

 at the southern tip of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

. The same ferry routes provide service to the nearby Statue of Liberty. A bridge built for transporting materials and personnel during restoration projects connects Ellis Island with Liberty State Park, but is not open to the public. Proposals made in 1995 to use it or replace it with a new bridge for pedestrians were opposed by the city of New York and the private ferry operator at that time, Circle Line. Since September 11, 2001
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, the island is guarded by patrols of the United States Park Police
United States Park Police
The United States Park Police is one of the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those National Park Service areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San...

 Marine Patrol Unit.

Ownership

Originally much of the west shore of Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay, or Upper Bay, is the traditional heart of the Port of New York and New Jersey, and often called New York Harbor. It is enclosed by the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island and the Hudson County, New Jersey municipalities of Jersey City and Bayonne.It...

 consisted of large tidal flats which hosted vast oyster banks
Oyster
The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified....

, a major source of food for the Lenape
Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

 population who lived in the area prior to the arrival of Dutch settlers. There were several islands which were not completely submerged at high tide but most of them were submerged. Three of them (later to be known as Liberty
Liberty Island
Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the turn of the century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D...

, Black Tom and Ellis) were given the name Oyster Islands by the settlers of New Netherland
New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

, the first European colony in the Mid-Atlantic
Mid-Atlantic States
The Mid-Atlantic states, also called middle Atlantic states or simply the mid Atlantic, form a region of the United States generally located between New England and the South...

 states. The oyster beds would remain a major source of food for nearly three centuries. Landfilling
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

 to build the railyards of the Lehigh Valley Railroad
Lehigh Valley Railroad
The Lehigh Valley Railroad was one of a number of railroads built in the northeastern United States primarily to haul anthracite coal.It was authorized April 21, 1846 in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and incorporated September 20, 1847 as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad...

 and the Central Railroad of New Jersey
Central Railroad of New Jersey
The Central Railroad of New Jersey , commonly known as the Jersey Central Lines or CNJ, was a Class I railroad with origins in the 1830s, lasting until 1976 when it was absorbed into Conrail with the other bankrupt railroads of the Northeastern United States...

 would eventually obliterate the beds, engulf one island and bring the shoreline much closer to the others. During the Colonial period Little Oyster Island was known as Dyre's, then Bucking Island. In the 1760s, after some pirates were hanged from one of the island's scrubby trees, it became known as Gibbet
Gibbet
A gibbet is a gallows-type structure from which the dead bodies of executed criminals were hung on public display to deter other existing or potential criminals. In earlier times, up to the late 17th century, live gibbeting also took place, in which the criminal was placed alive in a metal cage...

 Island. It was acquired by Samuel Ellis, a colonial New Yorker possibly from Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, around the time of the American Revolution. In 1785 he unsuccessfully attempted to sell the island:

New York State leased the island in 1794 and started to fortify it in 1795. Ownership was in question and legislation was passed for acquisition by condemnation in 1807 and then ceded to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1808. Shortly thereafter the War Department established a twenty-gun battery, magazine, and barracks. From 1808 until 1814 it was a federal arsenal. At the end of the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, Fort Gibson was built and the island remained a military post for nearly 80 years before it was selected to be a federal immigration station.

Immigration station

In the 35 years before Ellis Island opened, over eight million immigrants arriving in New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 had been processed by New York State officials at Castle Garden Immigration Depot
Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton or Fort Clinton, once known as Castle Garden, is a circular sandstone fort now located in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, New York City, in the United States. It is perhaps best remembered as America's first immigration station , where more than 8 million...

 in lower Manhattan, just across the bay. The Federal Government assumed control of immigration on April 18, 1890 and Congress appropriated $75,000 to construct America's first Federal immigration station on Ellis Island. Artesian wells were dug, and landfill
Landfill
A landfill site , is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and is the oldest form of waste treatment...

 was hauled in from incoming ships' ballast
Sailing ballast
Ballast is used in sailboats to provide moment to resist the lateral forces on the sail. Insufficiently ballasted boats will tend to tip, or heel, excessively in high winds. Too much heel may result in the boat capsizing. If a sailing vessel should need to voyage without cargo then ballast of...

 and from construction of New York City's subway
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 tunnels, which doubled the size of Ellis Island to over six acres. While the building was under construction, the Barge Office nearby at the Battery
Battery Park
Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City, facing New York Harbor. The Battery is named for artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city's early years in order to protect the settlement behind them...

 was used for immigrant processing.

The first federal immigration station was an enormous three-story tall structure, with out-buildings, built of Georgia pine, containing all of the amentities that were thought to be necessary. It opened with celebration on January 1, 1892. Three large ships landed on the first day and 700 immigrants passed over the docks. Almost 450,000 immigrants were processed at the station during its first year. On June 15, 1897, a fire of unknown origin, possibly caused by faulty wiring, turned the wooden structures on Ellis Island into ashes. No loss of life was reported, but most of the immigration records dating back to 1855 were destroyed. About 1.5 million immigrants had been processed at the first building during its five years of use. Plans were immediately made to build a new, fireproof immigration station on Ellis Island. During the construction period, passenger arrivals were again processed at the Barge Office.
Edward Lippincott Tilton and William A. Boring won the 1897 competition to design the first phase, including the Main Building (1897–1900), Kitchen and Laundry Building (1900–01), Main Powerhouse (1900–01), and the Main Hospital Building (1900–01).

The present main structure was designed in French Renaissance Revival style and built of red brick with limestone trim. When it opened on December 17, 1900, officials estimated 5,000 immigrants per day would be processed. However, the facilities proved to be able to barely handle the flood of immigrants that arrived in the years just before World War I. Writer Louis Adamic
Louis Adamic
Louis Adamic was a Slovenian American author and translator.- Biography :Adamic was born at Praproče Mansion in Praproče near Grosuplje, in what is now Slovenia...

 came to America from Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 in southeastern Europe in 1913 and described the night he and many other immigrants slept on bunk beds in a huge hall. Lacking a warm blanket, the young man "shivered, sleepless, all night, listening to snores" and dreams "in perhaps a dozen different languages". The facility was so large that the dining room could seat 1,000 people.

After its opening, Ellis Island was expanded with landfill and additional structures were built. By the time it closed in 1954, twelve million immigrants had been processed by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration
Immigration and Naturalization Service
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , now referred to as Legacy INS, ceased to exist under that name on March 1, 2003, when most of its functions were transferred from the Department of Justice to three new components within the newly created Department of Homeland Security, as...

. It is estimated that 10.5 million immigrants departed for points across the United States from the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, located just across a narrow strait. Others would have used one of the other terminals along the North River (Hudson River) at that time.
The peak year for immigration at Ellis Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 immigrants processed. The all-time daily high occurred on April 17, 1907, when 11,747 immigrants arrived. After the Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

 was passed, which greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas embassies, the only immigrants to pass through the station were displaced persons or war refugees. Today, over 100 million Americans - one third of the population - can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis Island before dispersing to points all over the country.

Generally, those immigrants who were approved spent from two to five hours at Ellis Island. Arrivals were asked 29 questions including name, occupation, and the amount of money carried. It was important to the American government that the new arrivals could support themselves and have money to get started. The average the government wanted the immigrants to have was between 18 and 25 dollars. Those with visible health problems or diseases were sent home or held in the island's hospital facilities for long periods of time. More than three thousand would-be immigrants died on Ellis Island while being held in the hospital facilities. Some unskilled workers were rejected because they were considered "likely to become a public charge". About 2 percent were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as having a chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity. Ellis Island was sometimes known as "The Island of Tears" or "Heartbreak Island" because of those 2% who were not admitted after the long transatlantic voyage. The Kissing Post is a wooden column outside the Registry Room, where new arrivals were greeted by their relatives and friends, typically with tears, hugs and kisses.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the German sabotage of the Black Tom Wharf
Black Tom explosion
The Black Tom explosion on July 30, 1916 in Jersey City, New Jersey was an act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents to prevent the materiel from being used by the Allies in World War I.- Black Tom Island :...

 ammunition depot damaged buildings on Ellis Island. The repairs included the current barrel-vaulted ceiling of the Main Hall.

Detention and deportation center

After 1924, Ellis Island became primarily a detention and deportation processing center.

During and immediately following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Ellis Island was used to intern German merchant mariners and enemy aliens
German American internment
German American Internment refers to the detention of people of German citizenship in the United States during World War I and World War II.-Civilian internees:...

 - American civilians or immigrants detained for fear of spying, sabotage, etc. Some 7,000 Germans, Italians and Japanese would be detained at Ellis Island. It was also a processing center for returning sick or wounded U.S. soldiers, and a Coast Guard training base. Ellis Island still managed to process tens of thousands of immigrants a year during this time, but many fewer than the hundreds of thousands a year who arrived before the war. After the war immigration rapidly returned to earlier levels.
Noted entertainers who performed for detained aliens and for U.S. and allied servicemen at the island included Rudy Vallee
Rudy Vallée
Rudy Vallée was an American singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer.-Early life:Born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, the son of Charles Alphonse and Catherine Lynch Vallée...

, Jimmy Durante
Jimmy Durante
James Francis "Jimmy" Durante was an American singer, pianist, comedian and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s...

, Bob Hope
Bob Hope
Bob Hope, KBE, KCSG, KSS was a British-born American comedian and actor who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television and movies. He was also noted for his work with the US Armed Forces and his numerous USO shows entertaining American military personnel...

, and Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton
Lionel Leo Hampton was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Like Red Norvo, he was one of the first jazz vibraphone players. Hampton ranks among the great names in jazz history, having worked with a who's who of jazz musicians, from Benny Goodman and Buddy...

 and orchestra.

The Internal Security Act of 1950 barred members of communist or fascist organizations from immigrating to the United States. Ellis Island saw detention peak at 1,500, but by 1952, after changes to immigration law and policies, only 30 detainees remained.

One of the last detainees was the Aceh
Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

 separatist Hasan di Tiro
Hasan di Tiro
Tengku Hasan Muhammad di Tiro , born Hasan Bin Leube Muhammad, was the founder of the Free Aceh Movement , an organization which attempted to separate Aceh from Indonesia from the 1970s. It surrendered its separatist goals and agreed to disarm as agreed to in the Helsinki peace deal of 2005...

 who, while a student in New York in 1953, declared himself the "foreign minister" of the rebellious Darul Islam
Darul Islam
Darul Islam is an Islamist group in Indonesia that aims for the establishment of an Islamic state of Indonesia. It was started in 1942 by a group of Muslim militias, coordinated by a charismatic radical Muslim politician, Sekarmadji Maridjan Kartosuwirjo. The group recognised only Shari'a as a...

 movement. Due to this action, he was immediately stripped of his Indonesian citizenship, causing him to be imprisoned for a few months on Ellis Island as "an illegal alien".

Staff

The station's commissioners were:
  1. 1890–1893 Colonel John B. Weber
    John B. Weber
    John Baptiste Weber was a U.S. Representative from New York.-Early life:John Weber was born at his parents cottage on Oak Street in Buffalo, New York. His parents, Philippe Jacob Weber and Mary Anne Weber , had emigrated to the United States in 1833 from Leutenheim, Alsace and settled in Buffalo...

     (Republican)
  2. 1893–1897 Dr. Joseph H. Senner (Democrat)
  3. 1897–1902 Thomas Fitchie (Republican)
  4. 1902–1905 William Williams (Republican)
  5. 1905–1909 Robert Watchorn (Republican)
  6. 1909–1913 William Williams (Republican), 2nd term
  7. 1914–1919 Dr. Frederic C. Howe
    Frederic C. Howe
    Frederic Clemson Howe was a member of the Ohio Senate, Commissioner of Immigration of the Port of New York, and published author. He was also president of the League for Small and Subject Nationalities....

     (Democrat)
  8. 1920–1921 Frederick A. Wallis (Democrat)
  9. 1921–1923 Robert E. Tod (Republican)
  10. 1923–1926 Henry C. Curran (Republican)
  11. 1926–1931 Benjamin M. Day (Republican)
  12. 1931–1934 Edward Corsi (Republican)
  13. 1934–1940 Rudolph Reimer (Democrat)
  14. 1940–1942 Byron H. Uhl
  15. 1942–1949 W. Frank Watkins
  16. 1949–1954 Edward J. Shaughnessy


Other notable officials at Ellis Island included Edward F. McSweeney (assistant commissioner), Joseph E. Murray (assistant commissioner), Dr. George W. Stoner (chief surgeon), Augustus Frederick Sherman
Augustus Frederick Sherman
Augustus Frederick Sherman worked as a clerk at Ellis Island in the years 1892-1925. He was an untrained, yet highly gifted photographer who created hundreds of images documenting the new arrivals to America...

 (chief clerk), Dr. Victor Safford (surgeon), Dr. Victor Heiser (surgeon), Dr. Thomas W. Salmon (surgeon), Dr. Howard Knox (surgeon), Antonio Frabasilis (interpreter), Peter Mikolainis (interpreter), Maud Mosher (matron), Fiorello H. La Guardia (interpreter), and Philip Cowen (immigrant inspector).

Prominent amongst the missionaries and immigrant aid workers were Rev. Michael J. Henry and Rev. Anthony J. Grogan (Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic is a term used to describe people who are both Roman Catholic and Irish .Note: the term is not used to describe a variant of Catholicism. More particularly, it is not a separate creed or sect in the sense that "Anglo-Catholic", "Old Catholic", "Eastern Orthodox Catholic" might be...

), Rev. Gaspare Moretto (Italian Catholic), Alma E. Mathews (Methodist), Rev. Georg Doring (German Lutheran), Rev. Joseph L'Etauche (Polish Catholic), Rev. Reuben Breed (Episcopal
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

), Michael Lodsin (Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

), Brigadier Thomas Johnson (Salvation Army
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

), Ludmila K. Foxlee (YWCA
YWCA
The YWCA USA is the United States branch of a women's membership movement that strives to create opportunities for women's growth, leadership and power in order to attain a common vision—to eliminate racism and empower women. The YWCA is a non-profit organization, the first of which was founded in...

), Athena Marmaroff (Woman's Christian Temperance Union
Woman's Christian Temperance Union
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union was the first mass organization among women devoted to social reform with a program that "linked the religious and the secular through concerted and far-reaching reform strategies based on applied Christianity." Originally organized on December 23, 1873, in...

), Alexander Harkavy
Alexander Harkavy
Alexander Harkavy was a Russian-born American writer, lexicographer and linguist.Alexander was educated privately, and at an early age evinced a predilection for philology...

 (HIAS
HIAS
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society was founded in 1881. The constant flow of Jewish immigrants from Russia gave birth to the society. HIAS assists Jews and other groups of people whose lives and freedom are at risk, through rescue, relocation, family reunification, and resettlement. Since its inception...

), and Cecilia Greenstone and Cecilia Razovsky (National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Jewish Women
The National Council of Jewish Women defines itself as a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action...

).

Records

A myth persists that government officials on Ellis Island compelled immigrants to take new names against their wishes. In fact, no historical records bear this out. Federal immigration inspectors were under strict supervision and were more interested in preventing inadmissible aliens from entering the country (for which they were held accountable) than in assisting them in trivial personal matters such as altering their names. The inspectors used the passenger lists given to them by the steamship companies to process each foreigner. These were the sole immigration records for entering the country and were prepared not by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration but by steamship companies such as the Cunard Line
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

, the White Star Line
White Star Line
The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company or White Star Line of Boston Packets, more commonly known as the White Star Line, was a prominent British shipping company, today most famous for its ill-fated vessel, the RMS Titanic, and the World War I loss of Titanics sister ship Britannic...

, the North German Lloyd Line
Norddeutscher Lloyd
Norddeutsche Lloyd was a German shipping company. It was founded by Hermann Henrich Meier and Eduard Crüsemann in Bremen on February 20, 1857. It developed into one of the most important German shipping companies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was instrumental in the economic...

, the Hamburg-Amerika Line, the Italian Steam Navigation Company, the Red Star Line
Red Star Line
The Red Star Line was an ocean passenger line founded in 1871 as a joint venture between the International Navigation Company of Philadelphia, which also ran the American Line, and the Société Anonyme de Navigation Belgo-Américaine of Antwerp, Belgium...

, the Holland America Line
Holland America Line
The Holland America Line is a cruise shipping company. It was founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company , a shipping and passenger line. Headquartered in Rotterdam and providing service to the Americas, it became known as Holland America Line...

, and the Austro-American Line. The Americanization of many immigrant families' surnames was for the most part adopted by the family after the immigration process, or by the second or third generation of the family after some assimilation into American culture. However, many last names were altered slightly due to the disparity between English and other languages in the pronunciation of certain letters of the alphabet.

Medical inspections

To support the activities of the United States Bureau of Immigration, the United States Public Health Service
United States Public Health Service
The Public Health Service Act of 1944 structured the United States Public Health Service as the primary division of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare , which later became the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The PHS comprises all Agency Divisions of Health and...

 operated an extensive medical service at the immigrant station, called U.S. Marine Hospital Number 43, more widely known as the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital. It was the largest marine hospital in the nation. The medical division, which was active both in the hospital and the Great Hall, was staffed by uniformed military surgeons. They are best known for the role they played during the line inspection, in which they employed unusual techniques such as the use of the buttonhook to examine aliens for signs of eye diseases (particularly, trachoma
Trachoma
Trachoma is an infectious disease causing a characteristic roughening of the inner surface of the eyelids. Also called granular conjunctivitis and Egyptian ophthalmia, it is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the world...

) and the use of a chalk mark code. Symbols were chalk
Chalk
Chalk is a soft, white, porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is calcium carbonate or CaCO3. It forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite plates shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores....

ed on the clothing of potentially sick immigrants following the six-second medical examination. The doctors would look at the immigrants as they climbed the stairs from the baggage area to the Great Hall. Immigrants' behavior would be studied for difficulties in getting up the staircase. Some immigrants entered the country only by surreptitiously wiping the chalk marks off, or by turning their clothes inside out.

The symbols used were:
  • BBack
    Back
    - People :* Adam Back, British cryptographer* Charles Back, South African winemaker* Chris Back , Australian politician* Ernst Emil Alexander Back , German physicist* Frédéric Back , Canadian animator...

  • C - Conjunctivitis
    Conjunctivitis
    Conjunctivitis refers to inflammation of the conjunctiva...

  • CTTrachoma
    Trachoma
    Trachoma is an infectious disease causing a characteristic roughening of the inner surface of the eyelids. Also called granular conjunctivitis and Egyptian ophthalmia, it is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the world...

  • EEyes
    Human eye
    The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ, the eye allows vision. Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth...

  • FFace
    Face
    The face is a central sense organ complex, for those animals that have one, normally on the ventral surface of the head, and can, depending on the definition in the human case, include the hair, forehead, eyebrow, eyelashes, eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, mouth, lips, philtrum, temple, teeth, skin, and...

  • FTFeet
    Foot
    The foot is an anatomical structure found in many vertebrates. It is the terminal portion of a limb which bears weight and allows locomotion. In many animals with feet, the foot is a separate organ at the terminal part of the leg made up of one or more segments or bones, generally including claws...

  • G – Goiter
  • HHeart
    Human heart
    The human heart is a muscular organ that provides a continuous blood circulation through the cardiac cycle and is one of the most vital organs in the human body...

  • KHernia
    Hernia
    A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or the fascia of an organ through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it. A hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach protrudes into the mediastinum through the esophageal opening in the diaphragm....

  • L – Lameness
  • NNeck
    Neck
    The neck is the part of the body, on many terrestrial or secondarily aquatic vertebrates, that distinguishes the head from the torso or trunk. The adjective signifying "of the neck" is cervical .-Boner anatomy: The cervical spine:The cervical portion of the human spine comprises seven boney...

  • PPhysical
    Physical examination
    Physical examination or clinical examination is the process by which a doctor investigates the body of a patient for signs of disease. It generally follows the taking of the medical history — an account of the symptoms as experienced by the patient...

     and Lungs
  • PGPregnancy
    Pregnancy
    Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

  • S – Senility
  • SCScalp
    Scalp
    The scalp is the anatomical area bordered by the face anteriorly and the neck to the sides and posteriorly.-Layers:It is usually described as having five layers, which can conveniently be remembered as a mnemonic:...

     (Favus
    Favus
    Favus is a disease usually affecting the scalp, but occurring occasionally on any part of the skin, and even at times on mucous membranes.-Presentation:...

    )
  • SI – Special Inquiry
    Inquiry
    An inquiry is any process that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem. A theory of inquiry is an account of the various types of inquiry and a treatment of the ways that each type of inquiry achieves its aim.-Deduction:...

  • X – Suspected Mental defect
  • X (circled) – Definite signs of Mental defect

Notable immigrants

The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 14-year-old girl from Cork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, who arrived on the ship Nevada on January 2, 1892. She and her two brothers were coming to America to meet their parents, who had moved to New York two years prior. She received a greeting from officials and a $10 gold piece
Eagle (United States coin)
The eagle is a base-unit of denomination issued only for gold coinage by the United States Mint. It has been obsolete as a circulating denomination since 1933. The eagle was the largest of the four main decimal base-units of denomination used for circulating coinage in the United States prior to...

. It was the largest sum of money she had ever owned. The last person to pass through Ellis Island was a Norwegian merchant seaman by the name of Arne Peterssen in 1954.

Immigration museum

The wooden structure built in 1892 to house the immigration station burned down after five years. The station's new Main Building, which now houses the Immigration Museum, was opened in 1900.
Architects Edward Lippincott Tilton and William Alciphron Boring received a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition
Exposition Universelle (1900)
The Exposition Universelle of 1900 was a world's fair held in Paris, France, from April 15 to November 12, 1900, to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next...

 for the building's design. The architecture competition was the second under the Tarsney Act, which had permitted private architects rather than government architects in the Office of the Supervising Architect
Office of the Supervising Architect
The Office of the Supervising Architect was an agency of the United States Treasury Department that designed federal government buildings from 1852 to 1939....

 to design federal buildings.
After the immigration station closed in November 1954, the buildings fell into disrepair and were all but abandoned. Attempts at redeveloping the site were unsuccessful until its landmark status was established. On October 15, 1965, Ellis Island was proclaimed a part of Statue of Liberty National Monument. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 on October 15, 1966.

Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 based architecture firm Finegold Alexander + Associates Inc
Finegold Alexander + Associates Inc
Finegold Alexander + Associates Inc is an architecture firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It was established in 1962. Previous firm names include J. Timothy Anderson and Associates, Anderson Notter Associates, Anderson Notter Finegold, Inc., and Notter Finegold + Alexander Inc.The firm is...

, together with the New York architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle
Beyer Blinder Belle
Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP is an international architecture firm. It is based in New York City and has an additional office in Washington, DC. The firm's name is derived from the three founding partners: John H. Beyer, Richard Blinder, and John Belle. The three architects met...

, designed the restoration and adaptive use of the Beaux-Arts Main Building, one of the most symbolically important structures in American history. A construction budget of $150 million was required for this significant restoration. This money was raised by a campaign organized by the political fundraiser Wyatt A. Stewart
Wyatt A. Stewart
Wyatt A. Stewart, III is Chief Operating Officer of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and a career political fundraiser. Formerly, the main designer of the organizer for the fund raising campaign to restore Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Stewart has also done considerable...

. The building reopened on September 10, 1990. Exhibits include Hearing Room, Peak Immigration Years, the Peopling of America, Restoring a Landmark, Silent Voices, Treasures from Home, and Ellis Island Chronicles. There are also three theaters used for film and live performances.

As part of the National Park Service's Centennial Initiative, the south side of the island was to be the target of a project to restore the 28 buildings that have not yet been rehabilitated.

The "Wall of Honor" outside of the main building contains a partial list of immigrants processed on the island. Inclusion on the list is made possible by a donation to support the facility. In 2008, the museum's library was officially named the Bob Hope Memorial Library in honor of one the station's most famous immigrants.

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor
Ellis Island Medal of Honor
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor was founded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations and intended to pay homage to the immigrant experience. The medals honor the contribution made to America by immigrants and the legacy they left behind in the successes of their children and grand-children...

 is awarded annually at ceremonies on the island.

State sovereignty dispute

The island, largely artificially created through landfill
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

, is situated on the New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 side of Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay, or Upper Bay, is the traditional heart of the Port of New York and New Jersey, and often called New York Harbor. It is enclosed by the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island and the Hudson County, New Jersey municipalities of Jersey City and Bayonne.It...

. The natural portion of the island, part of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, is surrounded by rest of the island in Jersey City
Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City is the seat of Hudson County, New Jersey, United States.Part of the New York metropolitan area, Jersey City lies between the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay across from Lower Manhattan and the Hackensack River and Newark Bay...

.
The circumstances which led to an exclave of New York being located within New Jersey began in the colonial era, after the British takeover of New Netherland
New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

 in 1664. An unusual clause in the colonial land grant outlined the territory that the proprietors of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 would receive as being "westward of Long Island, and Manhitas Island and bounded on the east part by the main sea, and part by Hudson's river", rather than at the river's midpoint, as was common in other colonial charters.

When the Province of New Jersey
Province of New Jersey
The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies of Colonial America and became the U.S. state of New Jersey in 1776. The province had originally been settled by Europeans as part of New Netherland, but came under English rule after the surrender of Fort Amsterdam in 1664, becoming a...

 was separated from the Province of New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 in 1674, it was argued that Staten Island
Staten Island
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

 belonged to the former. Then-governor Edmund Andros
Edmund Andros
Sir Edmund Andros was an English colonial administrator in North America. Andros was known most notably for his governorship of the Dominion of New England during most of its three-year existence. He also governed at various times the provinces of New York, East and West Jersey, Virginia, and...

 directed that all islands in the bay that could be circumnavigated within 24 hours were part of New York. Soon thereafter, Captain Christopher Billopp sailed around it within the allotted time. The border came to be understood as being along the shore of the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

, Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay
Upper New York Bay, or Upper Bay, is the traditional heart of the Port of New York and New Jersey, and often called New York Harbor. It is enclosed by the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island and the Hudson County, New Jersey municipalities of Jersey City and Bayonne.It...

, the Kill van Kull
Kill Van Kull
The Kill Van Kull is a tidal strait between Staten Island, New York and Bayonne, New Jersey in the United States. Approximately long and wide, it connects Newark Bay with Upper New York Bay. The Robbins Reef Light marks the eastern end of the Kill, Bergen Point its western end...

, and Arthur Kill
Arthur Kill
The Arthur Kill is a tidal strait separating Staten Island, New York from mainland New Jersey, USA, and a major navigational channel of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Kill is from the Middle Dutch word kille, meaning "riverbed" or "water channel"...

.

Attempts were made as early 1804 to resolve the status of the state line. The City of New York claimed the right to regulate trade on the all the waters. This was contested in Gibbons v. Ogden
Gibbons v. Ogden
Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 , was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the power to regulate interstate commerce was granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. The case was argued by some of America's most admired and...

(22 U.S. 1
Case citation
Case citation is the system used in many countries to identify the decisions in past court cases, either in special series of books called reporters or law reports, or in a 'neutral' form which will identify a decision wherever it was reported...

) (1824), which decided that the regulation of interstate commerce fell under the authority of the federal government, thus influencing competition in the newly developing steam ferry service in New York Harbor
New York Harbor
New York Harbor refers to the waterways of the estuary near the mouth of the Hudson River that empty into New York Bay. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Although the U.S. Board of Geographic Names does not use the term, New York Harbor has important historical, governmental,...

.

In 1830, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 planned to bring suit to clarify the border, but the case was never heard. The matter was resolved with a compact between the states, ratified by U.S. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 in 1834, which set the boundary line between them as the middle of the Hudson River and New York Harbor. This was later confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 in other cases which also expounded on the compact.

The federal government, which had bought the island in 1808, began expanding the island by landfill, to accommodate the immigration station opened in 1892. Landfilling continued in stages until 1934.

Nine-tenths of the current area is artificial island
Artificial island
An artificial island or man-made island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means...

 that did not exist at the time of the interstate compact. New Jersey contended that the new extensions were part of New Jersey, since they were not part of the original island. In 1956, after the 1954 closing of the U.S. immigration station, the then Mayor of Jersey City, Bernard J. Berry
Bernard J. Berry
Bernard J. Berry was an American Democratic Party politician who served as the 33rd mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey from 1953 to 1957. He took office following the resignation of John V. Kenny....

, commandeered a U.S. Coast Guard cutter and led a contingent of New Jersey officials on an expedition to claim the island. In 1997, the state filed suit to establish its jurisdiction, leading New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to remark dramatically that his father, an Italian who immigrated through Ellis Island, never intended to go to New Jersey.

The dispute eventually reached the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled in 1998 that New Jersey had jurisdiction over all portions of the island created after the original compact was approved (effectively, more than 80% of the island's present land). This caused several immediate confusions: some buildings, for instance, fell into the territory of both states. New Jersey and New York soon agreed to share jurisdiction of the island. It remains wholly a Federal property, however, and these legal decisions do not result in either state taking any fiscal or physical responsibility for the maintenance, preservation, or improvement of any of the historic properties.

For New York State tax purposes it is assessed as Manhattan Block 1, Lot 201. Since 1998, it also has a tax number assigned by the state of New Jersey.

In the arts

Ellis island has been a source of inspiration or subject for the arts including film, literature and music.

Early films, including those from the silent era, which feature the station include Traffic in Souls
Traffic in Souls
Traffic in Souls is a 1913 narrative feature film focusing on forced prostitution in the US and filmed around Ellis Island in New York City. Its subjects were working women and immigrants and it was released at a time when the country was undergoing a "moral panic" over the issue of prostitution...

(1913), which starred Matt Moore; The Yellow Passport (1916), starring Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young
Clara Kimball Young was an American film actress, who was highly regarded and publicly popular in the early silent film era.-Early life:...

; My Boy (1921), starring Jackie Coogan
Jackie Coogan
John Leslie Coogan , known professionally as Jackie Coogan, was an American actor who began his movie career as a child actor in silent films. Many years later, he became known as Uncle Fester on 1960s sitcom The Addams Family...

; Frank Capra
Frank Capra
Frank Russell Capra was a Sicilian-born American film director. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was six, and eventually became a creative force behind major award-winning films during the 1930s and 1940s...

's The Strong Man (1926), starring Harry Langdon
Harry Langdon
Harry Philmore Langdon was an American comedian who appeared in vaudeville, silent films , and talkies. He was briefly partnered with Oliver Hardy.-Life and career:...

; We Americans (1928), starring John Boles
John Boles (actor)
-Early life:Boles was born in Greenville, Texas, into a middle-class family. He graduated with honors from the University of Texas in 1917 and married Marielite Dobbs in that same year. His parents wanted him to be a doctor and Boles studied and finally got his B.A. degree, but the stage called...

; The Mating Call (film), 1928, co-starring Thomas Meighan
Thomas Meighan
Thomas Meighan was an American actor of silent films and early talkies. He played several leading man roles opposite popular actresses of the day including Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson. At one point he commanded $10,000 a week....

 and Renee Adoree
Renée Adorée
Renée Adorée was a French actress who had appeared in Hollywood silent movies during the 1920s.-Early life:...

; Ellis Island (1936), starring Donald Cook; Paddy O'Day (1936), starring Jane Withers
Jane Withers
Jane Withers is an American actress best known for being one of the most popular child film stars of the 1930s and early 1940s, as well as for her portrayal of "Josephine the Plumber" in a series of TV commercials for Comet cleanser in the 1960s and early 1970s.-Biography:Withers began her career...

; Gateway (1938), starring Don Ameche
Don Ameche
Don Ameche was an Academy Award winning American actor with a career spanning almost sixty years.-Personal life:...

; Exile Express (1939), which starred Anna Sten; I, Jane Doe (1948), starring Ruth Hussey
Ruth Hussey
Ruth Carol Hussey was an American actress best known for her Academy Award-nominated role as photographer Elizabeth Imbrie in The Philadelphia Story.-Early life:...

 and Vera Ralston
Vera Ralston
Vera Ralston was a Czech figure skater and actress. She later became a naturalized American citizen. She worked as an actress during the 1940s and 1950s.-Early life:...

, and Gambling House (1951), starring Victor Mature
Victor Mature
Victor John Mature was an American stage, film and television actor.-Early life:Mature was born in Louisville, Kentucky to an Italian-speaking father from the town Pinzolo, in the Italian part of the former County of Tyrol , Marcello Gelindo Maturi, later Marcellus George Mature, a cutler,...



Some films have focused on the immigrant experience, such as the 1984 TV miniseries Ellis Island. The IMAX 3D movie Across the Sea of Time incorporates both modern footage and historical photographs of Ellis Island. The 2006 Italian movie The Golden Door
Nuovomondo
Nuovomondo literally, new world is a 2006 drama based around a family's migration from Italy to New York during the beginning of the 20th Century. The film is set in both Italy and The United States. The film is written and directed by Emanuele Crialese...

, directed by Emanuele Crialese
Emanuele Crialese
Emanuele Crialese is an Italian screenwriter and film director. He is a native of Rome. He studied filmmaking in New York City...

, takes place largely on Ellis Island.

The island has also been used as a film location. In the film X-Men
X-Men (film)
X-Men is a 2000 superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics characters of the same name. Directed by Bryan Singer, the film stars Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Bruce Davison, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn, Ray Park and Tyler Mane...

, a UN summit held on the island is targeted by Magneto
Magneto (comics)
Magneto is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the central villain of the X-Men comic, as well as the TV show and the films. The character first appears in X-Men #1 , and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby...

, a former immigrant who attempts to artificially mutate all the delegates present. In the 2005 feature film romantic comedy, Hitch, starring Will Smith
Will Smith
Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. , also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood...

, his and Eva Mendes
Eva Mendes
Eva Mendes is an American actress.She began acting in the late 1990s, and after a series of minor roles and performances in several smaller films such as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror and Urban Legends: Final Cut , she broke into the mainstream, appearing in leading roles in Hollywood...

' characters take a jet ski
Jet ski
Jet Ski is the brand name of a personal watercraft manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The name is sometimes mistakenly used by those unfamiliar with the personal watercraft industry to refer to any type of personal watercraft; however, the name is a valid trademark registered with the...

 to the island and explore the building. The opening scene of The Brother From Another Planet
The Brother from Another Planet
The Brother from Another Planet is a science fiction film written, directed and edited by John Sayles. It stars Joe Morton as an extraterrestrial who has escaped to Earth and who hides in New York City.-Plot:...

takes place on Ellis Island.

Photographer Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes is an American photographer known foremost for his series of abandoned structures such as at Ellis Island and the former Bethlehem Steel factory which he has captured as a lost world caught in a sort of visual amber...

' series Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom (2006) captured the abandoned south side of Ellis Island and helped raise $6 million in funding from the United States Congress towards restoration of that area.

Ellis Island as a port of entry is described in detail in Mottel the Cantor's Son by Sholom Aleichem
Sholom Aleichem
Sholem Aleichem was the pen name of Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, a leading Yiddish author and playwright...

. It is also the place where Don Corleone
Vito Corleone
Vito Andolini Corleone is a fictional character and the main character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, as well as Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather trilogy, where he was portrayed by Marlon Brando in The Godfather and by Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part II. Premiere Magazine listed Vito...

 was held as an immigrant boy in The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American gangster film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script co-written with Mario Puzo. The film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, chronicling the story of the Corleone family following the events of the first film while also depicting the...

, where he was marked with an encircled X.

Ellis Island: The Dream of America
Ellis Island: The Dream of America
Ellis Island: The Dream of America is a work for actors and orchestra with projected images by American composer Peter Boyer, composed in 2001-02, commissioned by the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut...

is a work for actors and orchestra with projected images by Peter Boyer
Peter Boyer
Peter Boyer is an American composer, conductor, and professor of music. He is known primarily for his orchestral works, which have received over 250 performances, by more than 90 orchestras....

, composed in 2001-02. Also a documentary on the hospital at Ellis Island was created by Lorie Conway
Lorie Conway
Lorie Conway is an independent producer and filmmaker. Her work has received Peabody, DuPont and CableACE awards. In 1993-94, she was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University; she now serves as Vice President of the Nieman Foundation Advisory Board as well as an Associate of the Boston Public Library...

.

"Scenes from Ellis Island" (for guitar ensemble, piano, double bass, two violins and percussion) was composed by American classical guitarist Benjamin Verdery, and was inspired by a visit to Ellis Island.

The song "The New Ground - Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears," on the 2010 album Songs from the Heart
Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart
Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart is the fifth studio album by the group Celtic Woman released on 26 January 2010.Performers in Songs from the Heart are vocalists Chloë Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly, Alex Sharpe and fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt...

by the group Celtic Woman
Celtic Woman
Celtic Woman is an all-female musical ensemble conceived and assembled by Sharon Browne and David Downes, a former musical director of the Irish stage show Riverdance...

, is about Annie Moore and Ellis Island.

See also

  • Immigration to the United States
    Immigration to the United States
    Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

  • Angel Island, California
    Angel Island, California
    Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay that offers expansive views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin County Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The entire island is included within Angel Island State Park, and is administered by California State Parks. It has been used for a variety of...

  • Geography of New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary
  • Port of New York and New Jersey
    Port of New York and New Jersey
    The Port of New York and New Jersey comprises the waterways in the estuary of the New York-Newark metropolitan area with a port district encompassing an approximate area within a radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument...

  • Hoffman Island
    Hoffman Island
    Hoffman Island is one of two small artificial islands in the Lower New York Bay, off South Beach, Staten Island. A smaller island, known as Swinburne Island, lies immediately to the south....

  • Swinburne Island
    Swinburne Island
    Swinburne Island is the smaller of two artificial islands located in the Lower New York Bay east of South Beach, Staten Island.-History:The island was created in 1860. Along with Hoffman Island, it was used to quarantine immigrants to the United States in the early 20th century who were found to be...

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Hudson County, New Jersey
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in New York County, New York
  • Philadelphia Lazaretto
    Philadelphia Lazaretto
    The Philadelphia Lazaretto was the first quarantine hospital in the United States, built in 1799, in Tinicum Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The site was originally inhabited by the Lenni Lenape, and then the first Swedish settlers in America...

  • Pier 21
    Pier 21
    Pier 21, a former ocean liner terminal, is Canada's National Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia.It operated as an ocean liner terminal and immigration shed from 1928 to 1971 and became an immigration museum in 1999. Pier 21 is Canada's last remaining ocean immigration shed...

  • Save Ellis Island
    Save Ellis Island
    Save Ellis Island is an organization to raise money for the restoration, preservation and rehabilitation of Ellis Island’s abandoned buildings and to support historic preservation.- Significance of Ellis Island :...


Further reading



External links

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