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On April 17, 1907 more individuals entered the United States through Ellis Island—11,747 arrivals—than on any other day in its history. A usual day saw some 5,000 immigrants processed. It was the highpoint of a year that brought more immigrants through Ellis than any other: 1,004,756 arrivals.

That year 1,285,349 immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island and other ports, a record that would not be broken until 1990.

Did you know in 1907—
  • Immigrants brought with them a total of over $25 million
  • The Plaza Hotel opened in New York City
  • For the first time, a ball was dropped in Times Square to signal the New Year
  • The U.S. Customs House in New York City was constructed
  • Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States
The current wave of immigration has striking similarities to the turn of the last century when Ellis Island was America’s flagship immigration depot. In 1907, 1,285,349 arrivals through all ports received legal permanent resident status, only slightly higher than the 1,122,373 in 2005*.

In 1907, most of those arriving on our shores were from Southern and Eastern Europe, including Southern Italians, Eastern European Jews, Poles, and Greeks, but also many Mexicans, Canadians, and those from the Caribbean. Today, our country is enriched by Latin Americans and Asians, including Indians, Pakistanis, Vietnamese, and Chinese, as well as Eastern Europeans from the former Soviet Union.

Did you know—

1907 15.7% of US population was foreign born
2005 12.5% of US population was foreign born

Did you know the top immigrant groups* were—

  • Austria-Hungary (338,452)
  • Italy (285,731)
  • Russian Empire & Finland (258,943)
  • Mexico (157,992)
  • India (79,140)
  • China (64,921)

*U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration

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