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Immigrant Heritage Week

Recreating the Italian Immigrant neighborhood of 1917 for The Godfather Part II, filmed in 1970

Immigrant Heritage Week is held by NYC each year to honor our collective immigrant heritage. Here at GVSHP, we held a walking tour on Tuesday, April 17th to honor that history. On April 17th, 1909, 11,747 immigrants entered the U.S. through Ellis Island, more than any other day in history. If you missed the tour, a self-guided version can be accessed through the Urban Archive App.
This free app can be downloaded here (sorry, only on Apple at this point). On the app, you can find this walking tour and several others by GVSHP by selecting GVSHP from the institutions tab (second from the right). The walk includes ten stops featuring the stories of immigrants from Japan, South Asia, Eastern Europe, Greece, Iran, Ireland, and Italy, from the early 18th century to today. You don’t have to physically go on the walk. You can access the photos and history on the app from anywhere, although if you’re in the area  I highly recommend getting out there to look at the buildings and areas and speak with some of the people featured on the tour.

GVSHP has written extensively on how immigration has shaped our neighborhoods. Read about the Sullivan-Thompson Historic District- a District of Immigrants, Immigrant Stories – America’s Greatest Asset,  how the federal Immigration Act of 1924 Stemmed the Flow of Immigrants and the Puerto Rican Migration.

Italian Immigrant Nicosia Graziano, looking East from 15 Charlton Street. Read her story here.

Read about the variety of immigrant communities in our neighborhoods such as Little UkraineLittle Africa, the Italians of the South Village, and the forgotten Hungarian enclave featuring the lost Goulash Row.

Read about how immigrants and the children of immigrants lived in terribly crowded conditions, and fought unfair labor practices, and of course, the how the Village is related to the universally-known American symbol for freedom, the Statue of Liberty.

1960s Piragua Man, Stanton and Orchard Streets

You can also check out our Civil Rights and Social Justice Map here or access our oral history to hear the first-hand stories of how immigrants and the children of immigrants have shaped our neighborhoods and culture.

See more photos from the GSVHP Image Archive Center for Migration Studies Collection here.

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