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

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

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  • 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 »

Perdikis Family

Perdikis_family
Iparhos Perdikis and his parents, Alexandros and Efthalia, outside their storefront in New York City.
National Park Service, Statue of Liberty NM
 
In 1921, Iparhos Perdikis came to the United States with his parents, Alexandros and Efthalia (Arone) Perdikis, aboard the Themistocles. The family settled in New York City where Iparhos, who was 16 years upon arrival, went to school and later studied music and dance. As a young dancer, he was part of a team known as "Perzade and Jetan" and performed in vaudeville theatres and nightclubs throughout the country.

Despite holding onto traditional items from Cyprus, Iparhos Perdikis, who changed his name to Harold Perris in America, was also drawn to the promises of his newly adopted country. He looked to the lights of New York City and the opportunities available there. As he noted, "From that beautiful city … I got my dreams."

Did You Know?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Many government agencies have administered the Ellis Island immigration depot. The Bureau of Immigration, later called the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS), inspected immigrants. The agency was restructured in 2003 under the new Department of Homeland Security and is now 3 entities : U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services.