On New Year’s Day, 1892, New York’s legendary Ellis Island opened up for business for the first time to receive immigrants arriving from Europe. The first immigrant to be processed through was Annie Moore, who had left Ireland as a 14 year old girl, and travelled to America with her two younger brothers. Her parents had already moved to America four years earlier, and she and her brothers were coming to join them. Annie’s birthday was New Year’s Day – she arrived at Ellis Island on her 15th birthday.
The video below is the Three Irish Tenors – Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynans – performing the song Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears, which commemorates the experience of Annie Moore. This performance took place at Ellis Island in the Registry Room, and features an introduction by veteran actor Martin Sheen.