The Torch

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

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.


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.

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.”


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.


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!


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.  


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…. 


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!


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.


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! *)