Have your ancestors traveled much?
Ellis Island Stories
There are two famous statue groups now, one in Cobh, Ireland, and one on Ellis Island. They're both of the same 15-year-old girl, Annie Moore. Annie was the first immigrant to the US to come through the gates of Ellis Island, on 1 January 1892. She got a $10 gold coin for being the first. She and her little brothers also faced the challenge of life in a new place. In the years that followed, millions of people from all over the world travelled the same route through this immigration port, on their way to becoming citizens of a new country.
Millions of people means millions of amazing stories. How many of these can you guess?
Guess what happened to each of these immigrants.
- Did Annie Moore become rich or famous?
- This 3-year-old boy from Smolensk Oblast only spoke Yiddish, but his head was already in the stars when he arrived in 1923. What did he do for the laws of robotics?
- In 1904, Polish-born Maksymilian Faktorowicz was a highly paid makeup artist for the Imperial Russian Opera. However, he was deeply worried about the political situation. So he and his family travelled to America in steerage class. What made this daring businessman famous in the US?
- In 1920, a young English stilt-walker named Archie showed up at Ellis Island as part of a travelling show. What happened to him?
- When he was ten, Salvatore came through Ellis Island with his family. If they'd only known who they were letting in….but maybe Papa Antonio made them an offer they couldn't refuse. What did this fortunate son do to change America?
- This Hungarian actor first entered the US illegally in 1920. A merchant seaman, he jumped ship in New Orleans. In 1921, to legalise his status, he reported to Ellis Island, where they officially let him in. The immigration officials apparently weren't frightened of this political dissident, but he scared the daylights out of moviegoers for years. Who was he?
- In 1906, the Polish Rickover family escaped the pogroms and showed up at Ellis Island with their children, including six-year-old Chaim. He must have enjoyed the boat ride. What did this new American grow up to become?
- When Dalip Saund came to the US from Punjab in 1920, an official told him, 'You are now a free man in a free country.' How did Dalip Saund show his appreciation for the gift of freedom?
- Arthur Stanley Jefferson arrived from England in 1912. We have no record as to how many jokes he cracked at Ellis Island. But the world fell in love with him and his fat friend. Who was this comedian?
- Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo made a name for herself as Yma Sumac when she came to Ellis Island from Peru in 1954, the last year of operation for the site. Yma became a huge singing sensation. Even though a publicity stunt hinted that Yma was really a Brooklyn housewife named Amy Camus, she was really Peruvian, and her stage name means 'How beautiful!' in Quechua. What great ancestral connection did Yma Sumac claim?
Think you guessed right? Check your answers by clicking the picture below.