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The Torch

Stories, news, and updates about Lady Liberty and Ellis Island brought to you by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation

Ellis Island & AG Garland Welcome Newest Citizens

| September 23, 2022

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Foundation was honored to be a part of a September 17 Naturalization Ceremony that welcomed 200 of our nation’s newest citizens. Following in the footsteps of 12 million Ellis Island immigrants, the candidates, who hailed from more than 60 countries, gathered in the monument’s historic Great Hall. Attorney General Merrick Garland led them through the oath of allegiance and proclaimed, “This country – your country – wholeheartedly welcomes you.”

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Exclusive Screening & Panel Discussion

| August 26, 2022

DATE: Thursday, September 1st
TIME: 12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT

Join The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation for a virtual screening of UNFORGOTTEN: ELLIS ISLAND, the latest installment in the Unforgotten film series.

The film features interviews with former Foundation CEO Stephen Briganti and current Director of the American Family Immigration History Center, Stephen Lean.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Stephen Lean and the film’s creator, Aaron Asis.

Click HERE to RSVP

The Statue of Liberty Club

| August 19, 2022

The Foundation recently welcomed members of the Statue of Liberty Club to Liberty Island for a ceremony to unveil the group’s name on the Statue of Liberty Museum’s Donor Wall. The Club joins other important partners whose generosity helped to make the Museum a reality. 

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The ONLY way to Liberty Island

| July 20, 2022

Traveling can be amazing and memorable, but not always in a good way. Unfortunately circumstances can leave you frustrated, disappointed, or even cheated out of money, time, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Every year this happens to thousands of people hoping to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Ticket scammers or general misinformation lead visitors to ferries that only sail around the Hudson River, never reaching the actual monuments. In some cases, the experience begins and ends with a bus ride from Manhattan to New Jersey, adding hours to the failed adventure.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation does not want this to happen to you!

Statue City Cruises is the ONLY vendor authorized to provide tickets and transportation to Liberty and Ellis Islands. No other ferry company can give you access to the Islands, monuments, and museums.

LEARN MORE

Statue of Liberty, SOL, ferry, statue city cruises

We’re Talking Baseball

| July 19, 2022

“America’s Pastime” is actually an international affair. Currently Major League Baseball boasts players from more than two dozen countries. Throughout its history, immigrants and first-generation Americans have made their mark on the diamond. Here’s a look at just a few.

baseball, blog 

Presentation: Celebrating an Inclusive U.S. (July 3, 10am ET)

| June 30, 2022

YOU CAN WATCH A RECORDING OF STEPHEN’S PRESENTATIONS HERE.

Join Stephen Lean, director of our Family History Center, to explore ways in which immigration has enhanced the nation’s life. On Sunday, July 3, Stephen will be “The Forum at St. Bart’s” featured speaker, sharing examples of landmarks (e.g. Yosemite National Park, the Lincoln Memorial), monumental and mundane innovations (e.g., Mr. Coffee, bubble wrap), and other American hallmarks that trace their roots to an immigrant.

For information about in-person or virtual participation go to StBarts.org/grow/The-Forum.

AFIHC, event

Make Music Day Comes to Liberty and Ellis Islands

| June 27, 2022

On June 21, the Foundation participated in Fête de la Musique, a free, worldwide festival where music enthusiasts – professional and amateur – share their talents in public performances.

Jesse Brackenbury joined French Ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Étienne and others for a kick-off press conference in Battery Park with Lady Liberty overlooking the festivities.

Remarks were followed by a performance of Carnival of the Animals, written in 1886 by French composer Camille Saint-Saens, and more on Liberty and Ellis Island.

FUN PHOTOS!

make music day, event, poster

Meet Our Interns

| June 24, 2022

We are thrilled to welcome four incredibly talented young professionals as our first class of interns at The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. They represent an array of universities and areas of study, and bring their own rich, unique family immigration stories. This summer they will directly support our mission to preserve and restore the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!

Check out their stories and stay up to date with their time at the Foundation by following us at @StatueEllisFdn

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SOL, statue of liberty, interns, blog

Pride Month at Ellis Island

| June 7, 2022

Throughout its history, Ellis Island welcomed notable pioneers of the LGBTQ community. Despite discriminatory laws and frequent public condemnation, personal, business, and even health-related reasons spurred travel to and from the United States. 

Searching the Ellis Island Database for relevant passenger manifests you’ll find travel records for the likes of Christine Jorgensen, considered to be “America’s First Transgender Celebrity”; Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld who founded what is said to be the first “advocacy for LGBTQ rights” in response to many of his gay patients committing suicide; and Eva Kotchever (aka Evan Adams), author of Lesbian Love, a collection of short stories.  

If you’re visiting the American Family Immigration History Center during Pride Month, check out the display curated by research experts from the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island to examine individual manifests and photographs honoring these often-accidental trailblazers.  

LGBT, blog

Festival of NY Event

| May 23, 2022

Join The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and co-hosts from the Tenement Museum for a panel discussion about the Ellis Island immigrant experience and for a look at how these individuals from all corners of the world helped share New York City and beyond.

LEARN MORE

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Webinar: Ellis & Angel Islands

| May 10, 2022

Join us Wednesday, May 11, 8:00-9:00 pm (EDT) for a conversation about two of the country’s most consequential immigration stations: Ellis Island and Angel Island.

Among the topics to be covered by Stephen Lean, Direct of the Family History Center at Ellis Island and Casey Dexter-Lee, State Park Interpreter for Angel Island Immigration Station:

  • When and why were these immigration stations established?
  • How many immigrants entered the U.S. via Ellis and Angel Islands?
  • Were immigrants detained at either location?

This free, virtual presentation is co-hosted by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month.

Register here.

Ellis, historic, angel island 

Love and Lady Liberty – A Story Spanning Generations

| February 14, 2022

From family heritage to family vacations, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island hold special meaning to millions. For Ariel and Margie Moutsatsos, the significance spans generations.

October 11, 2015, Ariel Moutsatsos and Margie Lope began a new chapter in the family’s story with an engagement celebration aboard a private boat in New York Harbor hired by Ariel for the occasion. “I knew I wanted to involve Ellis and Lady Liberty somehow, since they meant so much for us and our families,” explained Ariel. “I told Margie that the trip was a way to remember where we came from.”

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Ellis Island and the Early Days of Film

| February 4, 2022

The immigrant experience at Ellis Island was carefully documented by filmmakers, with some of the most notable footage dating back to 1903. 

These scenes include a woman holding a child and waving an American flag, a man with two infants in a crowd of families posing for the camera, immigrants streaming off the boat at Ellis Island, and women staring at the Statue of Liberty.  

Be on the lookout for these clips, which are often featured in documentaries about Ellis Island and European immigration. You might even spot a family member in the crowds; after all, about 30 percent of Americans can trace at least one ancestor through Ellis Island.

MORE

blog, archives, immigrant, immigrants, Ellis

A “Door” to the World

| January 20, 2022

A visit to the Foundation’s American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island takes you back in time as you retrace the steps of your Ellis Island ancestors.

Through a special initiative between SOLEIF and the Italian-based SlideWorld, now you can also journey back to the Old World, crossing a virtual bridge to another cultural institution.

Step through SlideDoor!

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technology, jesse, ceo, italy

Wall of Honor Celebrates His Past, Present & Future

| December 9, 2021

For millions, the Statue of Liberty holds great meaning, sparking memories and emotions that are as unique as Lady Liberty herself.  

Some people are reminded of their ancestors arriving in a new world for a new life. Others reflect on her symbolism and the circumstances that inspired the people of France to gift the Statue to America. For Jack Laub, the Statue of Liberty is the beacon that welcomed him home from war – six times.  

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wall of honor

Ken Burns’ “Honor Your Hometown”

| October 26, 2021

“We have a special day or week for just about everything, from Taco Day and Handbag Day to Name Your Car Day, but we do very little to honor our cities and towns. We decided to do something about it.”  Ken Burns & Marty Stuart – Opinion contributors – USA Today

The Foundation was invited to participate in “Honor Your Hometown,” an initiative by documentary producer Ken Burns…. 

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The Vote Is On!

| September 30, 2021

Help the Foundation select our 2022 Member Card. Choose from one of four stunning images of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Submit your VOTE by 11:59pm on October 4!

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The 2021 Collectibles!

| September 16, 2021

The Foundation is excited to unveil our 2021 Collectibles! With five options, including our first-ever four-piece mini-sets, there is something for everyone.

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copper, collectables, product, Christmas

Where are the Books?

| September 16, 2021

There are many myths and misconceptions associated with Ellis Island, but one stands out above all others… “Where are the Books?”   

This is the most common question heard by our expert researchers at The American Family Immigration History Center

It certainly is a romantic notion – examining actual documents that were held and signed by your ancestor a century ago. Alas, this is not reality, despite what Hollywood tells us (Thank you, HITCH! *) 

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hitch, celebrity, cinema, film, Ellis, Ellis Island, pop culture, movies