• Immigrants awaiting inspection in front of Ellis Island's Main Building

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

Catherine Remembers the Hair Exam

 

Catherine Remembers the Hair Exam (Transcript)

Interviewee: Catherine Gaetano Gallippi
Date of Birth: February 17, 1914
Date of Interview: December 12, 1990
Interviewer: Paul E. Sigrist, Jr.
Immigrated from Italy at Age 8 in 1922
Ellis Island Collection: EI-17

Gallippi (At Ellis Island): Oh yes. This young woman here, she, they were examining her hair. She had it braided up so beautifully because, I guess, she was going to meet someone, you know. And they unbraided all her hair and evidently they found something there because they were clipping her hair, just cutting here and there. And she started to cry. She said, "But your cutting my hair!" She says, "Well, my dear, if you want to be in America, we want to make sure that your hair is clean."

Download Copy of Transcript: Gallippi Haircut Transcript

Did You Know?

Guastavino ceiling Ellis

The Guastavino Ceiling in the Great Hall: Rafael Guastavino Moreno (1842 –1908) was a Spanish architect and builder. He created a "Tile Arch System" patented in the United States in 1885 used for constructing robust, self-supporting arches and architectural vaults using interlocking terracotta tiles and layers of mortar, it is found in some of the most prominent Beaux-Arts landmarks across the United States