From 1892-1924, more than 12 million immigrants sailed past the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and landed at Ellis Island. They were coming to America from all over Europe in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
At Ellis Island, doctors examined the immigrants. If they were in good health, they would be allowed to go ashore in New York City to begin their new lives. As many as 10,000 people passed through the facility each day.
- Immigrants' suitcases are piled up as their owners wait to enter the U.S.
- After doctors examined the new arrivals, the immigrants waited in the Great Hall to be interviewed by government inspectors.
In 1924, Ellis Island stopped being the main immigrant center and it closed in 1954. Today, visitors can go to the museum on Ellis Island and lear what immigrants experienced as they arrived in the United States.
In order to become a U.S. citizen, immigrants must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of U.S. government, history, and civics. Here are some questions similar to those on the real test. Take it and see how well you do!
- Who signs bills into laws?
- In what year was the Constitution written?
- Why does flag have 13 stripes?
- How many states are there?
- Who has the power to declare war?
- What is the head executive of a state government called?
- How many times may a U.S. senator be re-elected?
- What is the national anthem of the United States?
- What holiday was celebrated for the first time by the colonists?
- What is the highest court in the United States?
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About 40 percent of all U.S. citizens have at least on ancestors who came through Ellis Island.