Immigration/Ellis Island term paper 9285

Immigration term papers
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Ellis Island was a United States reception center for immigrants for more than 60 years. The island is located in New York Harbor, less than 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometer) north of Liberty Island, the home of the Statue of Liberty. Over 12 million people first entered the United States through Ellis Island. The island is named for Samuel Ellis, a merchant and farmer who owned it during the late 1700's. The United States government bought the island in 1808. The government began using Ellis Island as an immigration station in 1892. About 35 buildings were constructed on the island. Newcomers were taken to the main building, an impressive two-story wooden structure. That building burned down in 1897, and was replaced by a three-story brick building. The immigrants were questioned by government officials and examined by doctors. Certain people were prohibited by federal law from immigrating to the United States. They included criminals, the insane, and people who had infectious diseases. But about 98 percent of those examined at Ellis Island were allowed into the country. The island's large-scale use as an immigration station ended in 1924. The station closed completely in 1954. In 1965, the island became a national historic site, part of the existing Statue of Liberty National Monument. The site is managed by the National Park Service. Major repairs and improvements of the island's buildings began during the 1980's. The island was reopened to the public in 1990. The main building was completely restored and is now the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The museum's exhibits include old photographs, clothing, toys, and passports of immigrants. Visitors can listen to recordings of immigrants sharing their memories of Ellis Island. Several rooms, including the Registry Room or Great Hall (main reception area), now appear as they did between 1918 and 1924, the island's busiest years as an immigration station. The American Immigrant Wall of Honor, created in 1990, stands outside the museum. The names of almost 200,000 immigrants are engraved on this wall in honor of all immigrants.

Contributor: Frank J. Coppa, Ph.D., Prof. of History and Director, Doctor of Arts Program in Modern World History, St. John's Univ. ---- end of article ---- Ellis Island is a small island in Upper New York Bay, lying about 1.6 km (1 mi) southwest of the Battery, on Manhattan, and about 396 m (1,300 ft) east of Jersey City, N.J. Although in New Jersey waters, it is under the political jurisdiction of New York. The 11-ha (27-acre) island was a major immigration station for the United States from 1892 to 1943 and an immigrant detention station until 1954. It has been part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument since 1965. Once a picnic ground for the early Dutch settlers, the island was named for Samuel Ellis, who owned the island in the 1770s. It was purchased by the federal government from New York State in 1808 for use as a government arsenal and fort. After the creation of the Immigration Bureau (1891), the immigration station was moved from Castle Garden (at Battery Park, Manhattan) to Ellis Island. There immigrants were examined and either admitted or deported; at the height of its activity, the Ellis Island station could process 1 million people a year. Twelve million immigrants came through Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924. The Great Hall, where immigrants were processed, was renovated as part of the 1986 Statue of Liberty centennial celebration. The entire Main Building, which includes the Great Hall, has been restored; the Ellis Island Immigration Museum there opened to the public in 1990.

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