A Letter of Welcome: The Plight of the Indochinese Refugees

Authored by Laura Baker

Correspondence from Joshua Eilberg to the Honorable Herbert E. Harris. 3 February, 1977. 241-cms105, Box 3, Folder 24, Item 2. Center for Migration Studies, New York, New York.

On February 3, 1977, Joshua Eilberg sent a letter to Herbert E. Harris welcoming him to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and International Law for the 95th congress. Shortly thereafter, the subcommittee held hearings on May 25th and June 2nd of 1977 regarding H.R. 2051. The legislation, proposed by Representative Hamilton Fish, concerned the first wave of Indochinese refugees who had fled their homelands at the culmination of the Vietnam War (Desbarats 1985, 4; Zucker 1983, 174).

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Coretta Scott King: An Unyielding Voice for Change

Authored by Elliot Clement

After receiving an honorary doctorate from Marymount Manhattan College, Coretta Scott King sent this letter to Sister Colette Mahoney at the college. This event took place a little over a year after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

Coretta Scott King devoted “a lifetime to raising public consciousness around issues related to human rights and social justice,” and although many know her primarily through her husband, Martin Luther King, Jr., she was a powerful force for change in her own right (Crawford 2007, 116). She earned numerous accolades and over sixty honorary doctorates, including one from Marymount Manhattan College, during her lifetime, but her story is still often overshadowed by her husband’s (Suggs 2006). Her own dedication to social justice arose when she was not allowed to student teach in the Ohio public schools, because despite the fact that the students were integrated, the faculty remained all white (Crawford 2007). It was this instance that spurred King into a life dedicated to social justice, both with and without her husband.

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A Generous Donation Made to Greenley Library

Authored by SC

Correspondence between Michael Knuth and Charles E. Feinberg.

Letter dated 25 March 1987 written by Michael Knauth, Head Librarian of Farmingdale State College, to Charles E. Feinberg, a book and manuscript collector who specialized in the works of Walt Whitman.


On March 25, 1987, Michael Knauth, the head librarian of Thomas D. Greenley Library at Farmingdale State College wrote a letter to Charles E. Feinberg regarding a donation made by Mr. Feinberg unto the college.1 Charles E. Feinberg was a collector of all materials related to the the great American poet, Walt Whitman. His donation consisted of “a collection of 1860 engravings, including a corrected edition of a Trouble reproduction.”2 Continue reading

A Perspective on Italian Immigration in the 1960s

Authored by Pamela Griffin Hansen

 A watermarked image of the Maxime Maurice Caretti letter.

Letter from Maxime
Maurice Caretti

A letter dated June 15, 1963, from Maxime Maurice Caretti of Brooklyn to the House of Representatives Committee on Immigration, is archived in the Endres Collection held by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS). Arthur P. Endres was legal counsel to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law, from 1973 to 1989. (CMS Archivist 2015) The Endres Collection is comprised of thirteen linear feet of documents and records kept by Mr. Endres as part of his immigration-related legal work for the House of Representatives, ibid. Mr. Caretti’s letter is one of just a few pieces of original correspondence from private citizens found in the Endres Collection, ibid. Continue reading

Alex Pisciotta Papers: Letter to Mother

Authored by Liza Young

Letter written by Alex Pisciotta to his mother while deployed in France and working on a farm during World War I.

Letter written by Alex Pisciotta to his mother while deployed in France and working on a farm during World War I.

Alex Pisciotta was a US attorney, Judge Advocate, Assistant Chief Attorney, and Mayor of Lake Grove, Long Island, just mention a few of his career highlights. His vocation of serving country and government began at the age of twenty when he enlisted in the US Army during World War I. Pisciotta was one of more than two million men trained by General John J. Pershing and deployed overseas for President Wilson’s American Expeditionary Force (AEF). In 1918 the AEF joined France and England in the battle to expel the Germans from French territory. Three-quarters of these men faced the horrors of battle, resulting in 320,710 total casualties, yet Pisciotta’s documentation of his deployment is without reference to adversity. Pisciotta’s regiment was one of the lucky few that was never sent into battle. His letters home, such as this one written to his mother on August 26th, 1918, are filled with accounts that must have soothed the nerves of his family. On stationary provided by the supportive YMCA, Pisciotta describes a rather peaceful experience serving in the farm detail, sightseeing, and playing ball with the boys from a nearby artillery.  Continue reading

Alexander Pisciotta and World War I

Authored by Ellen Elsen

Center for Migration Studies

Page 1 of a letter from Alexander Pisciotta to his father, dated August 12, 1918.


Center for Migration Studies

Black and white photograph of fort, by Alexander Pisciotta










This letter is part of the Alex Pisciotta Papers, 1918-1981 at the Center for Migration Studies in New York. Alex Pisciotta served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, and worked as a lawyer and local politician, incorporating the town of Lake Grove, Long Island and serving as its first mayor. Continue reading

Amnesty International Correspondence

Authored by Danielle Manri

 This is a digitized document from the Endres Papers Collection. It was created by Stephanie Grant, Amnesty International’s Washington Office Director

Amnesty International Correspondence

This document, which has never before been seen by the public eye, showcases the development and revision of the Refugee Act of 1980. Most importantly, it provides a context for analyzing the inequities in previous refugee legislation that created the need for a more humanitarian law. This widespread injustice among the admittance of refugees stemmed from the somewhat discriminatory definition of the term “refugee.” In the end, this narrow definition imposed undue suffering on the hundreds of thousands of refugees who sought protection in the United States during the 1970s.[1] On top of dealing with painful memories of a lost home, many of these refugees were not even sure if they would be able to stay in the Land of the Free.[2]

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