Millions: New York City Immigration in the 20th Century

Millions | An exciting new school program at the Seaport Museum

Ships like Titanic, Lusitania, and Aquitania dominated transatlantic travel. On each voyage, they transported thousands of people: First-Class passengers sailed across the Atlantic in the lap of luxury, while Third-Class passengers made the voyage in the stuffy lower decks. Even though First Class and Third Class sailed on the same ships, their journeys were worlds apart.

In this program for students grade 3 and up, students will study primary source material, including photos, maps and artifacts from the South Street Seaport Museum’s permanent collection, to develop an understanding of immigration in 20th century New York.

Topics include:

  • Push/pull factors that led immigrants into New York City, and the restrictions being placed upon their entrance
  • Using primary sources to compare multiple perspectives aboard the ocean liner Aquitania
  • Man-made developments in New York’s harbor that allowed ships like Aquitania to enter safely
  • Improvements to transportation and the evolution of the ocean liner
  • The economic impact ocean liners had on New York City
  • The experience of 3rd class passengers at Ellis Island
  • A tour of Ambrose, the lightship that stood watch at the entrance to New York Harbor, guiding all the immigrants to safety.

  • All programs are designed for groups of up to 34 students (40 people maximum including chaperones).

    All programs are aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards and New York State Social Studies Scope and Sequence. Programs can be customized to meet your curricular goals and the needs of your students.

    Reservations and advance payment required. Limited scholarships are available.

    To book a program, or for more information please please click the button below to get in touch with someone from our education department, or call us at 212-748-8753.


    Note: The button above will open your email app or program and start an email to