The United States has often been called "a nation of immigrants"-- an oversimplification, to be sure. American Indians were present before the nation's founding and hundreds of thousands of Africans were brought to these shores in chains.
Many Americans, however, descend from immigrants who fled religious or ethnic persecution, war or economic hardship. These same forces continue to drive immigration today. Currently, more than 40 million people in the U.S. are foreign born.
Over time, each wave of immigrants has left its own imprint. It's important to remember where we all came from and how public attitudes and policies on immigration have changed throughout the country's history.
The Library will host the traveling exhibition, "Immigration: An American Story," from September 16 to October 14 at Old Worthington Library. The exhibit, developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, presents documents, maps and images to tell select stories of those who came to America, some by coercion and others by choice, in search of a better future for themselves and later generations.
See below for special programs planned in conjunction with the "Immigration: An American Story" exhibit.