Ellis Island is open on a limited basis while repairs continue.
Ellis Island has reopened on a limited basis. Due to the nature of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, parts of the historic Main Building and museum remain closed at this time. The museum's artifacts remain in off-site storage. More »
Knud Remembers Hardships Caused by the Language Barrier
Knud Remembers Hardships Caused by the Language Barrier (Transcript)
Interviewee: Knud Larsen
Larsen (The Language Barrier):
Let me tell you what I didn't like the most was, I couldn't understand what they were saying. It's awful hard to understand what it means that you can't understand a word, what anybody says to you. And, I'll tell you, if anybody would have said, "I'll give you the money, and you can take the boat back to Denmark," I would have done it any day in the week. And it took me I would say just about a year before I conquered that, because it's hard to understand that you can't understand what people are talking about. Get up in the morning, you can't understand them, you go to work. They laugh at you when you say something because it's, I suppose it sounds crazy to them, and so you just go along.
Did You Know?
When Ellis Island was opened in 1892, the facility bore little resemblance to the Renaissance Revival/Beaux Arts structure that people have come to know today. Made out of Georgia pine, the complex caught fire on June 15, 1897 and burned to the ground in about 6 hours. The current building was opened on December 17, 1900.