Celebrate your heritage: it s Ellis Island Family History Day

Apr 17, 2013
More than 100 million Americans can trace their roots back to to Ellis Island, where their ancestors took the first steps toward the promised freedom and opportunity of a new world. Though more than 12 million immigrants entered the United States via Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924, a record 11,747 came through on April 17, 1907–more than on any other day in history. To mark this day and to commemorate the opening of the American Family Immigration History Center® at Ellis Island, Ellis Island Family History Day was established in 2001. Visiting Ellis Island is an extraordinary experience, and a fantastic way to learn about our country’s rich cultural history. The interactive nature of the American Family Immigration History Center even allows you to trace your ancestors as you search the Ellis Island and Passenger Record Archives. Unfortunately, due to extensive damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy, Ellis Island is closed indefinitely (though the Statue of Liberty is slated to re-open on July 4, 2013.) In lieu of an actual visit, Scholastic and the National Park Service invite you to join us on a virtual field trip called “Coming to America: Ellis Island”, where you can participate in an interactive tour, hear stories from real kids who have immigrated to the United States, and learn more about the history of immigration. Did your ancestors come through Ellis Island? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below! Image via Linus Henning