From 1892 until 1954, Ellis Island, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States as the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station for over sixty year. After 1924, Ellis Island became primarily a detention and deportation processing station.
This means that it is very likely that you will find the signature of your great-grandfather or other relative who has reached this great nation; just as did "Sara Melas," a character played by Eva Méndez in Hitch, the American romantic comedy film, which she starred with actor Will Smith.
Even though she seems not to be happy to be reminded of "Juan Melas," her Great Great Grandfather, just like Sara, you could be witness of important family finds, and also see the signatures of important characters in the story.
These are some curious facts that could motivate you to enjoy and visit the island:
- The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore. She was a 17-year-old girl from Ireland, who arrived with her two brothers to meet their parents, who had moved to New York two years prior.
- The last person to pass through Ellis Island was a Norwegian merchant seaman by the name of Arne Peterssen in 1954.
- The island each May helds a ceremony to pays homage to the immigrants and their contribution made to America. Ellis Island Medal of Honor award was founded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, and includes notable medalists like Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Tony Orlando, and many others.
- Ellis Island has been a source of inspiration or subject in pop culture featuring in more than 15 films, video games like Spider-Man 2 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, TV shows, songs, children's novel and much more.
As you might know, the City of New York is the ultimate city of immigrants. Each year, New Yorkers hold a week to celebrate the immigrant heritage. The Immigrant Heritage Week 2017 theme is “Immigrants are NY: Upholding our Values.”
To recognize all the great men, women and children that went through that door, from April 17th through April 23rd, the City will host a number of celebratory events. Check the calendar below: