The history of ellis island and why people

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  • 1. THE HISTORY OF ELLISISLAND AND WHY PEOPLE CAME BY JESSICA SCHNEIDER

2. O People wanted to move to America because of the many job opportunities and the many freedoms available here that were not in the country they came from. People thought many different things about America. But what was America in their eyes, what did they think back then? Over twenty million people came through the doors of Ellis Island. But whats the background of the island of tears itself? 3. O In the tiny island in New York Harbor stood EllisIsland; Ellis Island opened its doors in 1892 andclosed in 1954. It had a total of 60 years inoperation. Ellis Island is named after a tavernowner that once operated on the island itself. A lotof people came from Europe; for example, Jewishpeople came because they wanted to escape frompolitical and financial issues from Russia. Also avery large amount of Italians and Greeks came toAmerica because of the poverty in their homecountries. They either began to America on foot orhorseback or by train to get to the boating dock.Just about any race from Europe came. To get toAmerica it took about one to two weeks on boat. 4. O The ships carried about 2,000 people itdivided them into wealth and class the firstand second class got staterooms orcabins, and the third class were inSteerage, Steerage was a very big openspace at the bottom of the boat. People kindof got a hint at what life was going to be like inAmerica because of the many differentcultures and religions just from being on theboat. Also to brighten the spirits of somepeople they would eat chocolate bars or otherdifferent candies. 5. O Ellis island is also known as the heartbreakisland because officers or doctors checkedeveryone who wanted to be in Americabecause they thought it was important toscreen all immigrants before allowing theminto the country. Those that were sick or hadcriminal records were either sent back to theirnative land or were housed until they werewell enough to enter the country. So becausesome families got disqualified from coming itgot the nickname of Heartbreak Island. 6. O When arriving at Ellis Island the first thingpeople saw was the Statue of Liberty.Then the ferries took the passengers tothe island to the registration. 7. O In June 14, 1897, a fire happened andburned Ellis Island completely to the groundand all the immigration records from all theway back to1855. The fire started because astove in the finance room caught fire to thewalls because the walls contained oily sapfrom trees. Immediately after the fire theUnited States Treasury started a new buildingplan but with one condition; it had to befireproof. They made the building resemble atrain station and the new building cost $1.5million. 8. O Ellis Island was originally 3.3 acres; thenextended with landfill to make the station.It eventually grew to 27.5 acres. The fillthey used was from the NYC subwaytunnel excavations. 9. O In just the first year almost 450,000immigrants were processed. When the 3rdand steerage passengers arrived they wereinspected for visual aliments: AKA the sixsecond medical exam. people who passedwent on into the great hall and the people whodidnt got marked with chalked and detaineduntil they got a full physical from a doctor. Thepeople who passed went on to the great hallto be processed. The great hall was 189 feetby 102feet big and had a 60 foot vaultedceiling. 10. O The medical exams began as soon as people enterthe building and doctors would stand at the top of thestairs and look for people who had possible problemsand then would mark your back with chalk. Everychild got their head and nails checkedO An "X" = possible problemO "B" = back to home countryO "E" = disease in your eyesO "P"= lung problemsO "Sc"= scalpO "L" stood for lamenessO "Ct" stood for trachoma 11. O The average process time took 3-4 hours tocomplete. They got asked 29 questions likename, occupation, and how much they hadcarried. About 2% of the people got denied fordisease, criminal background, or insanity.About 1/3 of the people stayed in New Yorkand the rest spread across the country. EllisIsland was known as many different thingslike The Island of Hope or The Island ofTears. Ellis Island processed 1,004,756people during its peak year in 1907. Somefamous passengers(actors)that came throughwere Bob Hope, Bela Lugosi, IrvingBerlin, and Cary Grant. 12. O After the fire the new building was prettyamazing it contained a baggage room, ahuge dining room, kitchen, anddormitories with 600 beds, a hospitalwhere 350 babies were born, an outdoorrecreation center, and a roof garden. 13. O The Immigrant Quota Act of 1921 and the National Origins Act of 1924 slowed down the immigration by allowing limited number of people into the country the era of immigration stopped in 1954. 14. O In WWII it served as a detainment centerand training faculty. But then shut downafter the war was over in 1954 becausethe building was too expensive to keep upin shape.O Then later on in 1976 it opened to thepublic as a museum now visitors can lookup family history and millions of records 15. O Its been estimated that at least 40% ofpeople can trace back there history to EllisIsland. The offspring of the immigrantsmake up for over half the Americanpopulation; for example, my greatgrandmother came from Greece and mygreat grandfather came from Italy. Theyboth passed through the island and thatshow they met. 16. O There are a good amount of reasons alot of the immigrants came was because ofthe job opportunities and the freedoms thatcame just by coming to America, just like theGermans who came to Kansas and broughtthe red wheat and made farms not owned byany government. They wanted a new a lifethat wasnt constricted of rules upon rules.Some of the freedoms they got were freedomof speak and freedom of religion. 17. OA few words that sum up Americais, free, determined, and recognized. All throughout the 1900sand even before that. People came to America because theyknew that the skies the limit and that if you work hard you canachieve anything you want and then you could finally say whosays we cant do anything. Being in the Land of the Bravethey wanted that freedom that they didnt have in their homecountry. They expected America to lead and be open. Also theygot the option of democracy. They knew that America was animmigrant nation and that it was strong. Also they wanted toenjoy the independence that they could have here. America hasa lot of determination and efficiency and the people wanted tobe a part of that. Thats what has shaped America. EstelleSchwartz Belford came in 1905 and she said that all she couldthink of was just passing through that gateway into a newlife, and all of people. 18. O were so excited they were screaming and cryingand singing to just even see America and the ladywith her hand up giving you life, liberty, and thepursuit of happiness. Renee Berkoff said theywere singing In America life is golden, in Americathe flowers are more beautiful, in America theworld is much better, and thats what Im loaning tobe my dear. They felt all these feelings justbecause they knew that if you came to Americayou could rise up into the land of opportunity andfeel that American spirit that came and to be allthat you can be. To just have that American dreamwas priceless. 19. O Ellis Island was open for over 60 years.During this time it became the beginningpoint for millions of immigrants who sawAmerica as a place of hope and refuge. Ithas partly shaped America to what it istoday and has become the point of refugeof a lot of American heritage. Ellis Islandand the Statue of Liberty still resembleAmericas freedom and bravery eventoday. 20. Work CitedO http://www.history.com/topics/ellis-island/videos#arrival-at-ellis-islandO http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/ellis_island_history.aspO http://www.academicamerican.com/twentiesdepww2/topics/twenties.htmlO http://www.history.com/topics/ellis-islandO http://www.history.com/topics/ellis-island/videos#immigrants-detained-at-ellis-islandO http://www.history.com/topics/ellis-island/videos#ellis-island-deconstructedO http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi