In 1982, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation was founded when President Ronald Reagan asked Lee Iacocca, then Chairman of Chrysler Corporation, to head a private sector effort to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Foundation first tackled the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. The Foundation then turned its attention to the restoration of Ellis Island--the largest historical restoration in the history of the United States. Ellis Island, our most potent symbol of the American immigrant experience, had become sadly deteriorated. When the Island opened in 1990 it unveiled the world-class Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where many rooms appeared as they had during the height of immigrant processing.
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