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Ellis Island: a history
History of Ellis Island Ellis Island
Statue of Liberty The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor It was a gift to the U.S. from the people of France Designed by Frederic Aguste Bartholdi The Statue is a robed, female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law)
Statue of Liberty: Fun facts The official dedication ceremonies were held on Thursday, October 28, 1886 The total overall height from the base to the torch is 305 feet, 6 inches The height of the Statue from her heel to the top of her head is 111 feet, 6 inches The face of the Statue of Liberty measures more than 8 feet tall There are 154 steps from the pedestal to the head of the Statue of Liberty The tablet held in her left hand is 23 feet, 7 inches tall and inscribed with the date July IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776) There are seven rays on her crown, one for each of the seven continents, each measuring 9 feet tall and weighing 150 pounds The total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons (450,000 pounds) As the feet of the Statue lie broken shackles of oppression and tyranny The exterior copper covering of the Statue of Liberty is 3/32 of an inch thick (less than the thickness of two pennies) and the light green color (called a patina) is the natural weathering of the copper. Hundreds of smaller replicas of the Statue of Liberty have been created worldwide in places such as France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Brazil, and India
The new Colossus The New Colossus is a sonnet by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) The sonnet was written in 1883 and is engraved on a bronze plate and mounted inside the lower level of the statue of liberty
The New Colossus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
History of Ellis Island Ellis Island is located in the Upper New York Bay, east of Liberty Sate Park and North of Liberty Island in Jersey City, New Jersey The Island has been owned and administered by the U.S. federal government since 1808 and operated by the National Park Service since 1965
Immigration Station Nearly 8 million immigrants came through Castle Garden Immigration Depot in Lower Manhattan before Ellis Island opened in 1892. Almost 450,000 immigrants were processed in the first year of the Immigration Station’s opening On June 5, 1897 a fire broke out, destroying the first Immigration Building and almost 1.5 million records of the immigrants who passed through its doors since its opening 5 year before A new building was designed and opened in 1900 By its close on November 12, 1954 over 12 million immigrants had been processed
Ellis Island today The main immigration building opened in 1900 after the first building burned down. It now houses the Immigration Museum. The great hall, where immigrants were processes fell into disrepair and were all but abandoned until it became a national landmark on October 15, 1965 The Island was opened on a limited basis for visitors between1976-1984 After 1984 the island underwent the largest historic restoration in U.S. history It reopened in 1990 and now receives almost 2 million visitors a year
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