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

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

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?

Great Hall circa 1900

In its time, Ellis Island was the busiest federal immigration station in America. In 1907, Ellis Island processed 1,004,756 immigrants, a record number for the Immigration stations. April 17, 1907 was the Island's busiest day, when 11,747 immigrants were processed. Today, the US Customs and Border Protection processes over 700,000 visitors daily through 326 official Ports of Entry. More...