News / USA

US Immigration Landmark Ellis Island to Reopen, a Year after Sandy

FILE - An aereal view of the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island and Ellis Islands (L), next to New York's Lower Manhattan skyline, New York.
FILE - An aereal view of the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island and Ellis Islands (L), next to New York's Lower Manhattan skyline, New York.
Reuters
Ellis Island, the patch of land in New York Harbor where millions of immigrants first touched U.S. soil, will partially reopen to the public on Monday, a year after it was submerged by Superstorm Sandy's floodwaters.
 
The storm destroyed the island's electrical, communication, water and sewage systems, but otherwise left its historic buildings largely undamaged, the National Park Service said.
 
Repairs are ongoing, but from Monday morning visitors will be able to see its famous views of the downtown Manhattan skyline and tour parts of the immigration museum in the island's Beaux-Arts main building, including the Great Hall that was once crowded with newly arrived immigrants.
 
“There's a lot to be done,” said John Warren, a spokesman for the National Park Service. “We're at a point where we're able to allow the public to come in and enjoy the buildings.”
 
The bulk of the museum's collection of documents and historical artifacts is still in storage in Maryland while new climate-control systems can be installed in the building.
 
Although the storm had dipped below hurricane force by the time it slammed into the city on October 29, 2012, it still had the power to devastate. Much of lower Manhattan was plunged into darkness for days, and the nation's largest subway system ground to a halt.
 
The late-season storm killed at least 159 people, damaged or destroyed more than 650,000 homes and caused some $37 billion in damage along the East Coast.
 
Liberty Island, a short ferry ride away, was also deluged and its infrastructure similarly damaged, although the Statue of Liberty itself, high on a pedestal above the storm surge, was undamaged.
 
Liberty Island reopened on July 4.
 
The National Park Service estimated the total cost of repairing the damage done on both islands at $77 million.
 
After the first federal immigration station opened on the island in 1892, more than 12 million immigrants, mostly from Europe, presented themselves for inspection in its halls. Almost all of them had sailed in steerage class, while first- and second-class passengers, who were perceived to be less likely to harbor either disease or criminal tendencies, were generally allowed to continue on to Manhattan.
 
In 1924, after immigration laws were tightened the station was used mainly to process deportations and war refugees until it closed in 1954.
 
About a third of the U.S. population today can trace their ancestry to someone who disembarked on Ellis Island.
 
President Lyndon Johnson declared the 27.5-acre island to be part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum opened in the island's main building in 1990.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid