Ellis Island

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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 ofLiberty, Statue of,
statue on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay, commanding the entrance to New York City. Liberty Island, c.10 acres (4 hectares), formerly Bedloe's Island (renamed in 1956), was the former site of a quarantine station and harbor fortifications.
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), 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 IslandAngel Island,
largest island in San Francisco Bay, W Calif. Explored by the Spanish in 1775, it came under U.S. control in 1851. The U.S. army used the island as a base from 1863 to 1946, and from 1955 to 1962 a radar and missile site was there.
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Ellis Island

immigration center where many families were separated; “isle of tears.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 193]