Volume 5 • Issue 2 2007 fall Home
State Historical Conference to Focus on Immigration and Ethnicity
by New Jersey Historical Commission
statue of liberty
The Statue of Liberty represents America's historic acceptance of immigrants from all nations.
New Jersey has always been one of the most diverse places on planet earth.  Ever since its origins in the 1600s, the state has been the home to waves of newcomers from other nations. In the early 19th century came immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and Great Britain; late in the century came Italians and eastern Europeans; today the majority of immigrants come to New Jersey from Asia and Latin America. Immigrant

To explore our state’s proud history of welcoming newcomers, the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, will devote its annual conference to the theme “New Jersey Diversity: Ethnicity and Immigration Past, Present, and Future.” The conference is cosponsored by the NJ Governor’s Ethnic Advisory Council.

The all-day conference, which is open to the public, will be held at the Trenton Marriott Hotel on Saturday, November 17, 2007.  Over two dozen history organizations will display exhibits at the conference.

The day will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration, a networking breakfast, and exhibits.  Lectures and panel discussions will begin at 9:30 a.m.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Nancy Foner Distinguished Professor at CUNY, who will speak on “Generations of Newcomers: The Immigrant Experience Across Two Centuries.” Other speakers will include US Senator Robert Menendez, who is the son of an immigrant family; Dr. Marc Mappen, director of the Historical Commission, and Professor Virginia Yans of Rutgers University. 

The conference will also include a workshop on how to do genealogical research on your immigrant family and a panel discussion on ethnic history.  There will be a lunch, during which awards will be presented to individuals and organizations recognized for their contributions to encouraging the public appreciation for and understanding of the history of the Garden State.  The conference will close with a reception in honor of the 40th anniversary of the New Jersey Historical Commission. 

The registration fee is $35 per person, which includes continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon reception, a conference packet, and admission to all conference events.  Copies of the registration form are available at the website www.newjerseyhistory.org or can be requested by calling (609) 984-3458 or via email at njhc@sos.state.nj.us