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On 100th Birthday Italian Immigrant Returns to Ellis Island to Recall American Journey

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Between 1876 to 1924, over four and a half million Italians migrated to the United States, many of them arriving in Ellis Island. Filomena Bianco boarded a ship headed for America in March of 1931 and started a journey she later described as the longest 10 days of her life. This past November, Bianco returned to Ellis Island for the first time since her arrival in America to share her experiences with a museum archivist. "When we saw the statue, the men, they looked scared," recounted Bianco about her first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

Bianco's family settled in the heavily Italian neighborhood ( Montclair, N.J.).  She went to work making cigar boxes and ammunition at war plants. At 35 cents an hour, it was hard to make ends meet and her family didn't have gas or electricity. Her daughter, who joined her in the interview, said the children hardly noticed the struggles.  Even when it was really bad, she always kept us happy and clean and neat. No matter what , we were sent  to school with clean clothes and polished shoes. Read more about Bianco's amazing story which spans the Great Depression, a World War and 14 presidents! http://bit.ly/sdo6fc