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A screen shot from Immigrants landing at Ellis Island.

A scene from a Thomas Edison film, Emigrants landing at Ellis Island

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The First Immigrant Landed on Ellis Island
January 1, 1892

Nearly half of all Americans have ancestors who came here through Ellis Island, but this was only one of many ports of entry for ships; some others were Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore. Ask someone in your family about how your grandparents or great-grandparents came to this country. If your ancestors came from Canada or Mexico, how would they have entered America?
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VIDEO CREDIT: Edison, Thomas A. "Emigrants [i.e. immigrants] landing at Ellis Island / Thomas A. Edison, Inc.," 1903. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress. Call Number FPE 5354.