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Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne joined The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. and the National Park Service September 24 in Ellis Island’s historic Great Hall to unveil plans for a significant expansion of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum to be called The Peopling of America® Center, which will enlarge the story currently told of the Ellis Island Era (1892-1954) to include the entire panorama of the American immigration experience, with exhibits dedicated to those who arrived both before and after Ellis, right up to the present day. Designed by ESI Design, the new Center has received major funding from the National Park Service Centennial Challenge Initiative, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and The Annenberg Foundation. The Peopling of America® Center's citizenship component was highlighted at the event with a naturalization ceremony during which twelve immigrants, ten of whom were members of the military, were sworn-in as new American citizens.


Photo Credit: Tina Fineberg

Shown (from left): Superintendent Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Cynthia Garrett; Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne; Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s Andrew D. Plepler; America’s twelve new citizens; The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation’s Stephen A. Briganti; and The Annenberg Foundation’s Gillian Norris-Szanto. (www.peoplingofamerica.org)

Photo Credit: Tina Fineberg

Shown: Asucena Ochoa whose country of origin is Mexico, now residing in West Point, NY, celebrates her new citizenship with her daughter. (www.peoplingofamerica.org)



About The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created a museum in the Statue’s base and the world-class Ellis Island Immigration Museum, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor® and the American Family Immigration History Center®. Its endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.




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