• From 1976 to 1980, the Commission campaigned for the restoration of Ellis Island as a national museum.  During that period of time, the Commission, after extensive communications and meetings with National Park Service, Department of Interior and members of the U.S. House and Senate, succeeded in convincing the U.S. government to restore and rehabilitate Ellis Island and to create a national museum reflecting the role of immigration in the growth of America.
  • When the Ellis Island restoration was complete, the Commission, over a period of ten years, pioneered the concept of creating full access to the records of immigration arrivals through the ships manifests and the computerization of those records and internet access. The Commission undertook a television campaign featuring Public Service announcements featuring actor and Commission member Cliff Robertson in order to promote the concept of a Family History Museum on the internet that would contain the records of all those who immigrated through Ellis Island. Those efforts resulted in the development of the Family History Museum, through which millions of Americans are now able to trace the arrival in America of their families.
  • The Commission is currently involved with enhancing the Oral History Museum at Ellis Island which will contain the recorded interviews of immigrants who arrived through Ellis Island.
  • The Commission has sponsored legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to name the Third Floor of Ellis Island the Bob Hope Memorial Library, in memory of Bob Hope, who came through Ellis Island at the age of four years, and who became a national treasure an one of America’s most famous entertainers.

The Third Floor of Ellis Island currently bears a plaque commemorating the work of the Commission, as follows:

“Presented to the Ellis Island Restoration Commission, which since
the 1970’s has dedicated itself to the restoration of Ellis Island, and
has championed public access to records documenting all of the
immigrants who first set foot on American soil at Ellis Island in their
quest for the American Dream."