This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Alexander Hamilton, a descendant of the Founding Father and Secretary Treasurer of the American Museum of Immigration, answers questions from the foreign press about the Museum's celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the unveiling of the Statue of LIberty.
Seymour Siegel moderates.
Panelists: Giuseppe Prezzolini, Hans Steinitz of Der Bunde, Joseph A. von Brauditch
Ellis Island was abandoned by the Department of Immigration years ago, and the government has declared it surplus and decided to auction it off. Eisenhower has decided that the disposal of Ellis Island must be held in abeyance.
Forthcoming jubilee to celebrate the Statue of Liberty will commence Operation Unity, an open appeal to the public to support the Museum. Celebrating the Statue is a way of also honoring the sculptor. The base of the statue has never been completed, will form the walls of the Museum of Immigration.
A reporter suggests that the name Ellis Island is somewhat formidable to Europeans. Hamilton agrees that this view ought to be represented in the Museum. The symbolism of the Statue of Liberty is what attracted the immigrants, not the reputation of Ellis Island.
A reporter asks why upper class passengers would have not been stopped at Ellis Island. Hamilton says this has to do with the requirement that immigrants display their financial independence upon their arrival.
Protection of historic buildings is a huge problem for New York City.
Access to archival research materials to do with Ellis Island is being analyzed by the Parks Department.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 72265
Municipal archives id: LT7544