A Nation of Immigrants
The Golden Door
The first European immigrants in American history came from England and the Netherlands. Attracted by reports of great economic opportunities and religious and political freedom, immigrants from many other countries flocked to the United States in increasing numbers, the flow reaching a peak in the years 1892-1924. During the late 19th century, the government operated a special port of entry on Ellis Island; it was in operation from 1892 until 1954 and is now preserved as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The Statue of Liberty, which was a gift from the people of France to the people of America in 1886, stands on an island in New York Harbor, near Ellis Island. Between 1820 and 1979, the United States admitted more than 49 million immigrants.
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