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Closing the Golden Door: Asian Migration and the Hidden History of Exclusion at Ellis Island
  • Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022
  • Time: 1:00 pm
  • Location: Online

The immigration station at New York’s Ellis Island opened in 1892 and remained the largest U.S. port for immigrant entry until World War I. In popular memory, Ellis Island is typically seen as a gateway for Europeans seeking to join the “great American melting pot.” But in this fresh examination of Ellis Island’s history, author Anna Pegler-Gordon reveals that it was also a major site of immigrant detention and exclusion, especially for Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian travelers and maritime laborers who reached New York City from Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, and even within the United States. The author draws on immigrants’ oral histories and memoirs, government archives, newspapers, and other sources to reorient the history of migration and exclusion in the United States.

Immigration programming is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Denise Gwyn Ferguson.