On This Day: Ellis Island Closes

On This Day: Ellis Island Closes
Bacalaitos & Fireworks is a celebration of immigrant history

Bacalaitos & Fireworks is a celebration of immigrant history

On this day in 1954, November 12th, America’s gateway, Ellis Island, closed its doors for good.

According to History.com, 40% of Americans today can trace their roots through Ellis Island.  If we had to guess, that percentage most likely increases dramatically when looking at the population residing in the Village.  The South Village was marked by its large Italian community that settled in the late 19th Century.  Around that same time German, Irish, and Italian immigrants found work in the breweries, warehouses, and coal and lumber yards near the Hudson River.  The East Village saw an influx of German, Eastern European, and Jewish immigrants.  Later in the mid-twentieth century, the lower, eastern part of the East Village, now known as Loisaida, became home to a large Puerto Rican community.

And this Monday, you can celebrate the heart of Loisaida with GVSHP’s program, Bacalaitos & Fireworks.    Arlene Gottfried, a native New Yorker with a passion for photographing the city, discusses her newest book, Bacalaitos and Fireworks. Comprised of color photographs that document New York’s Puerto Rican culture and changing Lower East Side/East Village, her book begins in 1970 and documents the culture of Loisaida through the present.

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Dana was GVSHP's Programs and Administrative Associate from 2010 to 2013.

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