Watch CBSN Live

A Tip Of The Hat To Annie Moore

As we celebrate St. Patrick's Day today, and the Irish contribution to American life, you might keep a good thought for an Irish girl named Annie Moore: The very first person to pass through a famous immigrant gateway called Ellis Island. The year was 1892. She was 15 years old.

Her family lived in New York, then Indiana, then Texas. Annie's Indiana boyfriend, Patrick, followed her to Texas, where they married in 1898.

Eventually, they moved to New Mexico. Patrick died there during a 1919 flu epidemic; but, due to good business sense, he did not leave his family wanting. His widow and children made quite a success of some commercial property he left behind.

The children lost Annie four years later. In 1923, while traveling in Texas, she was truck and killed by a train. A sad end to the first journey launched from the shores of Ellis Island.
Some people come to America and earn their gratitude with historic achievements.

Trending News

But perhaps an even greater debt is owed to the unsung many who come here, and simply live, laugh and cry; settling in various corners of America, doing their best by them, and teaching life's lessons to the American children they rear.

It's fitting that when they needed someone to lead the way through Ellis Island, they chose Annie Moore, a member of that noble majority.

©1999 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved

View CBS News In