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The dream of changing one's destiny has accompanied the desperate of every age. Today we are witnessing different scenarios, but a century ago we were looking for luck in other countries, especially in America. Between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century numerous Italians emigrated to the United States and landed on Ellis Island next to the Statue of Liberty. Today a museum recalls those arrivals and the list of millions of migrants is made available by the Liberty Ellis Island Foundation.
Ellis Island is a very small island in the New York bay and between the end ...

of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century it was the most important access point for those who emigrated to the United States. In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, the American government created a federal immigration station, opened in 1892 and permanently closed in 1954. In this period over 12 million foreigners landed there, only in 1907 there were over a million arrivals. The flow diminished considerably after 1924, when entry quotas were set and from Italy there could not have reached more than 7,400 people each year.
After landing the immigrants were required to submit travel documents and information on the ship that had brought them to New York. The doctors of the Immigration Service controlled every person and marked on the back with a plaster those who had to undergo further examination to ascertain their health conditions: PG indicated a pregnant woman, K who had problems with hernia, X who showed mental problems. .. If the cards were in order and health conditions were good in a few hours, entry was granted. On the contrary, if the immigrants presented health problems, if they were elderly or unable to support themselves and had no one to deal with them, they were sent back to the same ship that had brought them to America.
Today the descendants of that boundless crowd of immigrants make up about half of the American people. One of Ellis Island's major attractions is the Honor wall, a wall that bears the name of over 700,000 emigrants passing through Ellis Island: a gesture of gratitude from the United States for those who contributed to the growth of the land of adoption. (Felice d'Adamo)

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