First Immigrants Pass through Ellis Island on way to US Citizenship
On January 1, 1892, a fifteen-year old Irish girl named Annie Moore became the first of the more than twelve million immigrants who would pass through the doors of the Ellis Island Immigration Station in its sixty-two years of operation.
This small island off the New Jersey coast in the New York Harbor lies in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. Together, these two landmarks have welcomed millions of immigrants to America.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name,
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”— Statue of Liberty Pedestal, originally from the 1883 Emma Lazarus poem "The New Colossus"