Ellis Island

Ellis Island, island, c.27 acres (10.9 hectares), in Upper New York Bay, SW of Manhattan island. Government-controlled since 1808, it was long the site of an arsenal and a fort, but most famously served (1892–1954) as the chief immigration station of the United States. It is estimated that 40% of all Americans had an ancestor arrive at Ellis Island. Now part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument (see Liberty, Statue of), the island was opened to tourists in 1976. In 1990 an immigration museum was opened, and many records of immigrant arrivals have been computerized and are available there and on line. In 1998 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, pursuant to an 1834 interstate compact, only the original 3.3 acres (1.3 hectares) belong to New York, the remainder (created by landfill operations) belongs to New Jersey. See also Angel Island.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Ellis Island from Fact Monster:

  • This Day in History: November 12 - November 12 1920 Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected the first commissioner of baseball. 1927 ...
  • Asian American History Quiz: 1 - Quiz: Asian Pacific American History Click here for more Asian Pacific American features Question ...
  • Angel Island - Angel Island Angel Island, largest island in San Francisco Bay, W Calif. Explored by the Spanish in ...
  • Josie Natori - Josie Natori fashion designer Born: 1947 Birthplace: Manila, Philippines Natori began her career as ...
  • Lee Iacocca - Iacocca, Lee Iacocca, Lee (Lido Anthony Iacocca), 1924–, American business executive, b. ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Miscellaneous U.S. Geography