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Friday, November 12, 2010

On This Date: Ellis Island Closes

On Nov, 12, 1954, Ellis Island, which had served as an entry point for more than 12 million immigrants, closed. According to, it had opened in 1892 as the first federal immigration processing center. Prior to that time, individual states had been processing immigrants. Today, more than 40 percent of all U.S. citizens can trace their heritage through Ellis Island.

The center’s $160 million historic restoration began in 1984 and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum opened in 1990. About two million people visit each year.

For more on this historic site, see:

American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent Cannato

Ellis Island’s Famous Immigrants by Barry Moreno

The Family Tree Guide to Finding Your Ellis Island Ancestors by Sharon Carmak

Ellis Island Interviews: In Their Own Words by Peter Coan

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