Profile America: Ellis Island Opens

Wednesday, January 2nd. The place where many of our ancestors first stepped ashore when they came to America seeking a new life opened this month 127 years ago — Ellis Island in New York Harbor. The very first immigrant processed in 1892 at the new facility was a 15-year-old Irish girl named Annie Moore. Over the course of more than 60 years, some 12 million people flowed through the center. Some sources say the number is considerably higher. The peak year was 1907, when just over a million immigrants came to Ellis Island. The complex now belongs to the National Park Service and is visited by several million people a year. In 1910, the foreign-born represented nearly 15 percent of America’s population. Now, after falling through 1970, that figure is 14 percent.

Profile America is in its 22nd year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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