The Other Side

Martin Luther King Day – January 15, 2018

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Martin Luther King Day is observed on January 15, 2018.  On this day, we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who brought hope and healing to America.  King dreamt that all Americans would be judged by their personalities and not by the color of their skin.  King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929 and the holiday is celebrated on the Monday closest to that date. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister and activist, led a groundbreaking nonviolent civil-rights movement that gave African Americans the courage to speak-up.  In 1955, King led the Montgomery bus boycott.  A year-long civil-rights protest during which African Americans took a stand against segregation by refusing to give up their seats to white people on city buses.  The campaign was sparked by Rosa Parks who four days prior refused to give up her seat. For the next 10 years, King organized several nonviolent protests and …


Celebrating 45 Years!

Posted on January 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Congratulations to Peg Breen, the staff and Trustees  of the New York Landmarks Conservancy for 45 years of helping to preserve New York’s architectural heritage.  Ms. Breen, President of the Conservancy and Board Member of Save Ellis Island, Inc. has been instrumental in assisting Save Ellis Island and the National Park Service with stabilization and preservation efforts on the south side of Ellis Island.  


Christmas on Ellis Island

Posted on December 5, 2017 at 7:06 pm

The holidays were very important on Ellis Island, perhaps the most celebrated was Christmas. It was observed each year at Ellis Island through religious services, festivities, and gift giving. The Roman Catholic Church and the various Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Churches and denominations offered separate religious services in accordance with their respective traditions. Religious services were commonly presided over by foreign-born clergymen who could speak fluently in Italian, Polish, German, French, Greek, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese: many services were offered in English for British and Irish immigrants. For Jewish detainees, Passover, Yom Kippur, Sukkoth, and other holy days were observed. The kosher kitchen staff, under the supervision of a rabbi, prepared food that was appropriate for these occasions. Missionary societies sent toys and fruit for the children. The General Committee of Immigrant Aid purchased small, useful articles for the adults, so that everyone could have a Christmas gift. Gifts were given to the immigrants in bright cotton …


An Ellis Island Christmas

Posted on November 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Saturday, December 9, 2017 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Ellis Island – Parents, children and anyone in the holiday spirit are welcome to attend a book reading and book signing by author Maxinne Rhea Leighton of her beloved children’s book An Ellis Island Christmas (Viking Penguin), a book for children about immigration, recipient of the Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award. This free event will take place on Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm in the Eastern National Ellis Island bookstore located at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, 1st floor. Save Ellis Island, the sponsor of this event, is the non-profit partner of the National Park Service tasked with raising the funds needed to preserve and restore the immigrant hospital complex on Ellis Island’s south side. The preservation of this complex is vital to telling the unknown story of a time when America extended its care and compassion to immigrants traveling to our shore. An Ellis Island Christmas is reflective …


Exploring Abandoned Ellis Island

Posted on November 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Written by Scout for From a distance, many of the buildings appear to be in pretty decent shape, especially considering they’ve essentially been left to decay since the island officially closed in 1954. For example, this was an old laboratory building… …and features one of the more beautiful entrances on the island, still impressive despite so many years of decay: Back then, a typical lab interior would have looked something like this: But looks are deceiving. If you examine the facades more closely… …you’ll see that the damage is actually quite severe, with portions of buildings literally being strapped together to keep from crumbling. Subjected to an endless beating from the elements, windows are missing, bricks are cracking, and overgrowth is taking over. Meanwhile, recent work to rehabilitate the seawall has literally caused the foundation of the island to shift, putting additional undue stress on the buildings. Monitors like the one below measure the ongoing damage – and it is …


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