Architect Richard Meier, whose
grandfather came through Ellis Island from Bavaria in 1896, also
received a Family Heritage Award.
Both honorees received a framed copy
of the original ship’s passenger manifest documenting the
arrival of their family through Ellis Island or another port of
But the third honoree, Angela
Lansbury, who came here from England via Montreal 72 years
ago, had to settle for the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America
Award, which is no small potatoes.
"I feel warm in this building," the
actress said. "I didn’t come this way but I feel so much spirit
Superintendent Luchsinger noted that
Lansbury, in Sweeney Todd, cooked up the body parts of
Sweeney’s victims. "I’ve never been able
to look at a Swanson’s
chicken pot pie ever since."
Meier said, "Grandfather left Newark
for California to pan for gold. Grandmother packed a bag and
took a covered wagon across the country to join him in San
Francisco. He didn’t find gold. So she took a covered wagon and went
back to Newark. A short time later he struck gold. That’s the
way it is."
Stephen A. Briganti, president/CEO
of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, stressed that
"we’ve never taken government funding or tax dollars for our
projects. The foundation is fully funded by private donations."