A new year offers a chance to start over or to make a change, and for 62 years Ellis Island acted as the gateway to a new life filled with hope for more than 12 million immigrants.
Ellis Island’s immigration station opened on New Year’s Day in 1892, but the island’s history stretches even further back.
In commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Ellis Island immigration station, take a look back at some of the more fascinating facts about this storied piece of New York City.
Ellis Island was originally only 3.3 acres large
The island has gone by several other names
Pirates were hanged on Ellis Island
It served as a first defense against invasion
A teen was the first immigrant processed at Ellis Island
A fire destroyed the Ellis Island immigration center
Immigration doctors were known for their ‘six second physicals’
Enemies were detained on Ellis Island during WWII