Olympian Phelps Joins Ellis Island Fundraising Campaign

Olympian Phelps Joins Ellis Island Fundraising Campaign

Olympic swimming phenom Michael Phelps is the newest member of the We Are Ellis Island campaign, which is raising funds to restore the South Side of Ellis Island.On the campaign Web site, you can watch a promotional video featuring Phelps (hard to recognize with facial scruff and a few...

Olympic swimming phenom Michael Phelps is the newest member of the We Are Ellis Island campaign, which is raising funds to restore the South Side of Ellis Island.

On the campaign Web site, you can watch a promotional video featuring Phelps (hard to recognize with facial scruff and a few inches of hair) and others.

Phelps’ ancestors immigrated through Ellis Island. A campaign spokesperson told me she doesn’t yet have full details on their names and immigration dates, since Phelps signed on and shot the video just before leaving for Beijing.

Ellis Island’s well-known immigration museum opened in 1990 on its North Side. The largely abandoned South Side was home to a state-of-the-art hospital where sick immigrants were treated—and sometimes ordered to return home.

Look for the November 2008 Family Tree Magazine article on Forgotten Ellis Island, a documentary and book about the hospital, and the patients and staff who spent part of their lives there.

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