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Ellis Island Becoming a Museum of Immigration

February 24, 2012
Plain English Version

Ellis Island is in the harbor of New York City. It is the National Museum of Immigration. Between 1892 and 1924, it welcomed about 12 million immigrants. They are just a small part of the more than 200 million people who immigrated to the United States between 1550 and 2010.

It is also a museum about immigration. Restoration for the museum began in 1984. The first year was spent pumping warm air into the buildings to dry them out after years of exposure to the weather.

The records of the arrival of twenty-five million foreigners are now in computers and on the Internet.

The first phase of changes at the museum looked at immigrants who arrived between 1550 and 1924. The next phase tells the story of all immigrants especially those arriving after 1924.

New exhibits include traffic in slaves and the movement of American Indians.  The next phase opens about a year from now.

The director of the museum said, “I hope that people who visit will leave with an appreciation of what immigrants have done for this country.”

The New York Times


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