Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892 and was the nation's first federal immigration station. Between 1892 and 1954, approximately 12 million steerage and third class steamship passengers who entered the United States through the port of New York, were legally and medically inspected at Ellis Island.
The main building on Ellis Island is now a museum dedicated to the history of immigration and the important role this island played during the mass migration of humanity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The stories recounted in this museum suggest why the island has been called, ''Island of Hope, Island of Tears.''
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