From the 1880s to the 1920s the United States experienced a huge wave of immigration. People fleeing poverty and political instability in Europe, plus a huge demand for labour in the US, meant record numbers of people came to America. Most arrived by ship and were processed on Ellis Island, in New York harbour - an immigration station opened in 1892 when the facility on Manhattan couldn't deal with the numbers coming in. Vincent Cannato tells Don what happened on Ellis Island and the story of the people who, in passing through it, became Americans. From which 40 percent of the US population today are descendants.
Produced and mixed by Benjie Guy. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.