Skip to main content

Ellis Island and American Immigration

Along one wall of the Nation of Nations exhibit at the National Museum of History and Technology rests a narrow, straight-backed bench, a seemingly too plain and common item for a museum to preserve. However, it is not the bench itself that the Smithsonian seeks to celebrate, but rather the masses of people who, from 1892 to 1954, took refuge on it and others like it as they waited to hear if they would be allowed to enter the United States through the major port for immigration: New York City's Ellis Island. There, under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, passed Austrians, Italians, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Canadians, West Indians, ...

Read Full Article

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.