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Ellis Island Day

On Ellis Island Day, let's honor the millions of immigrants who passed through this historic gateway to America and celebrate our diverse heritage!
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When it is?
January 1
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Federal
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United States
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Founded
Introduction

Mark your calendars for January 1, because it's time to celebrate Ellis Island Day! This day commemorates the opening of the famous immigration station in New York City on January 1, 1892. For millions of immigrants, this was their first stop on American soil and a symbol of hope for a better life. It is estimated that over 12 million people passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. Today, it stands as a reminder of our nation's diverse history and the bravery and determination of those who came seeking a new beginning. Join in on the celebration by learning more about Ellis Island and the stories of those who passed through its doors.

History of Ellis Island Day

Ellis Island Day Dates

Ellis Island Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1892</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Ellis Island Opens</div><div class='timeline-text'>On January 1st, 1892, Ellis Island started operating as the United States' largest immigration station.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1892-1954</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Immigration Peak</div><div class='timeline-text'>During this period, over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1924</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Immigration Act</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Immigration Act of 1924 enforced quota laws and effectively ended mass immigration to America, reducing the role of Ellis Island.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1954</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Closure of Ellis Island</div><div class='timeline-text'>Ellis Island officially closed its doors as an immigration center in November of 1954.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1990</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Ellis Island Museum Opens</div><div class='timeline-text'>Ellis Island Immigration Museum opened to the public, showcasing the history and significance of the Ellis Island immigration station.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2014</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Ellis Island Day Established</div><div class='timeline-text'>The official Ellis Island Day was established and is celebrated annually on January 1, marking the date Ellis Island first opened.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Ellis Island Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit Ellis Island</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take a trip to the actual Ellis Island and explore the rich history and stories of the immigrants who passed through its gates. You can even take a guided tour or search for your own family's immigration records.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host an immigrant-themed potluck</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Invite friends and family over for a potluck featuring dishes from different cultures, just like the diverse group of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island. Share stories and memories of your own family's immigration journey.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Watch a film or documentary about Ellis Island</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>There are many films and documentaries that depict the experience of immigrants at Ellis Island. Gather some friends and have a movie night to learn more about this important piece of American history.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit a local immigration museum</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>If you can't make it to Ellis Island, visit a local museum that focuses on immigration. You can learn about the different cultures and experiences of immigrants in your own community.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Volunteer at an organization that helps immigrants</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Celebrate Ellis Island Day by giving back to the immigrant community. Find a local organization that helps immigrants and volunteer your time to support their mission.</p></div></div>

Why Ellis Island Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It celebrates a landmark in American history</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Ellis Island Day marks the day that the Ellis Island Immigration Station opened its doors and became the main entry point for millions of immigrants coming to America. This important milestone in American history is worth honoring and remembering on this special day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It honors the strength and perseverance of immigrants</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Ellis Island was often the first place that immigrants saw when arriving in America, and it was a symbol of hope for a better life. On Ellis Island Day, we honor and celebrate the courage, resilience, and determination of these immigrants who helped shape our nation into what it is today.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='   why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It raises awareness about immigration and diversity</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By celebrating Ellis Island Day, we are reminded of the rich cultural diversity that makes up America. It also serves as a reminder that immigration is an important part of our country's history and continues to shape our society. On this day, we can celebrate and appreciate the different cultures and backgrounds of the people who came through Ellis Island in search of a better life.</p></div></div>

5 Historical Facts About Ellis Island Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Ellis Island Opened on January 1, 1892</h3><p class='facts-content'>On this date, Ellis Island officially opened as an immigration station. Annie Moore, a 17-year-old girl from Ireland, was the first person processed there.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Ellis Island was the Largest Immigration Station in the United States</h3><p class='facts-content'>From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island on their way to starting a new life in America, making it the busiest immigrant inspection site in the U.S.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Ellis Island was originally much Smaller</h3><p class='facts-content'>The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934, growing from its original size of around three acres to a peak size of about 27.5 acres.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Ellis Island is now a Museum</h3><p class='facts-content'>Since 1990, the main building on Ellis Island has been home to a museum, featuring exhibits on both the immigration process and the lives of the immigrants who passed through the island.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Ellis Island was named after its last private owner</h3><p class='facts-content'>The island takes its name from Samuel Ellis, a colonial New Yorker and the last private owner of the island before the state acquired it in the 1800s.</p></div></div>

Ellis Island Day FAQs

When is Ellis Island Day?

Ellis Island Day is celebrated on January 1st every year. In 2024, Ellis Island Day will fall on a Monday.

Ellis Island Day Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Jan 1

Sunday

2024

Jan 1

Monday

2025

Jan 1

Wednesday

2026

Jan 1

Thursday

2027

Jan 1

Friday

Federal Holidays