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2001 Heritage Awards

The Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards - 2001

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation celebrated the opening of the American Family Immigration History Center on April 17, 2001 with the first annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards. Gale Norton, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, spoke at the event. Foundation Founding Chairman Lee A. Iacocca presented awards to Irving Berlin's family (the songwriter came through Ellis Island as a young boy) and three Ellis Island immigrants: Felicita (Gabaccia) Salto, age (86 years old); Seymour Rexsite, age (88 years old) and Marinus deNooyer, age (103 years old).

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Irving Berlin


Towering composer, songwriter, ("God Bless America," "Always," "Blue Skies," "White Christmas") author and publisher, he came to the United States through Ellis Island from Russia at age five. 

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