How Many Immigrants Passed Through Ellis Island ?
The Ellis Island was once a small island measuring a mere 3.3 acres. Today, the island is represented by approximately twenty-eight acres and is a segment of the Statue of Liberty monument. This island has not only played an extremely vital role in American History but is significant to the very existence of more than 40 percent of the current American population. This is the site from where years ago, millions of immigrants gained entry into the United States whose offspring are citizens of the US today.
The Ellis Island was for years of no consequence to mankind. It was mainly inhabited by animals and birds. A little later, it became a hunting ground for Native Americans. The Island acquired its present name after it came to be possessed by Samuel Ellis in the 1970s. Between 1892 and 1954, Ellis Island was declared as an official immigration station. Prior to this, the federal government had no control over the immigration process. During this time period, over 12 million people are believed to have crossed the threshold to begin a new life in the US. While some were Europeans looking for an avenue to escape the atrocities of war, drought, famine and religious discrimination; many were Jews saving their lives from the Czars and the Nazis.
The first person to gain entry into the country via this channel was a young 15-year old girl along with her brother; in search of their parents who had immigrated 2 years back. This girl named Annie Moore was welcomed into the US with 10 dollars worth gold piece on January 1, 1892. The admission of Arne Peterson in the year 1954 is marked as the last immigration into the US through Ellis Island. Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, numerous people were eager to immigrate into the country. April 17, 1907 was a memorable day as it witnessed the immigration of 11,747 people through Ellis Island within a matter of 24 hours.
Regulations governing immigration became extremely stringent after the implementation of the Immigration Act of 1924. War refugees were given priority, thereby refusing entry to many others. The station went through a major renovation due to a fire accident in 1897. Although no human life was lost, millions of records were damaged in the fire. Within 3 years, a concrete structure was rebuilt instead of the old wooden building and the station reopened to immigration again on December 1900. With immigration being placed under the jurisdiction of the embassies, this Ellis Island immigration station stopped functioning officially from November 1954.
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