Special thanks to U.S. News and World Report, for allowing us to excerpt from their August 6, 2001 cover story.


An important thread links 1900 and 2000: the beginning and end of a century marked by huge numbers of immigrants flocking to the U.S. in search of better opportunities or refuge from political turmoil or religious strife. In 1900, more than 1,000 immigrants were arriving in the U.S. each day.  Data show that 1 in 7 Americans in 1900 was born abroad; today, it is 1 in 10.  The accounts below explore the lives of residents from three NYC addresses, comparing lives in 1900 and 2000.


169 Avenue C

10  families lived in 1900. One was William O'Shaughnessy, 38, and his wife of nine years, Mary.



336 Madison St

27 families, most all from Russia, lived in 1900.



253 E 10th St

The Streicher household. They are immigrated from Germany in 1885.