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We have this vision of immigrants arriving by ship, seeing the Statue of Liberty and landing at Ellis Island to start their new American lives. But thousands of people never made it that far. Instead, they were detained at Swinburne and Hoffman Islands, two tiny islands in our harbor that were used as quarantine islands from the 1870s until the 1920s.

According to Professor James Colgrove at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, ships coming into New York harbor would be stopped before Ellis Island.

Read the article and listen to the accompanying WNYC segment