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‘Peopling of America Center’ on Ellis Island

Emigrants-Arriving-Ellis-IslandSince 2008, the National Park Service and the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation has been working on a state-of-the-art $20 million project to honor those millions of immigrants to America. Since all Americans are either an immigrant or descended from one, this touches everyone.

This special project is named Peopling of America Center.  It is scheduled to open the fall of 2011 on Ellis Island in New York and offering a place where all children of immigrants can go to search their family  roots.  This new center will greatly expand the information already at Ellis Island by demonstrating what the American immigration experience really was to millions of new arrivals.

Several new exhibits will be dedicated to those who arrived before Ellis Island opened in 1892 as well as those who arrived after it closed in 1954. Its goal is to tell the American immigration story across the many generations and the vital role immigrants served in building the United States.  A good portion of the new exhibits will focus on how the waves of immigrants have changed the face of America; one region, one state, one town at a time.

An interesting section with be the exhibit where a person submits their family name and any details such as given names, dates, locations and the project will help demonstrate that family’s movement over the years.

The American Flag of Faces is an addition to the Ellis Island Foundation. On this Internet site, anyone can add an image of a person’s face, with a donation to the Ellis Island Foundation.  There is also a search engine to see if any relatives or ancestors are already part of this collection of American faces. This interactive exhibit will be available as a permanent exhibit on Ellis Island as well as online.

These represent some new and fascinating additions to America’s Ellis Island.

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