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Governor Christie announced last week that his 2014 Inauguration celebration will be held in the Great Hall at Ellis Island. No sooner had I stopped dancing around the room and texted a friend who I believe can hook me up with tickets, when the critics started.
“Ellis Island?” they asked. “How can the Governor of New Jersey hold a major event at one of NEW YORK’s most famous historic sites?” They theorize that he choose such a notable national landmark because of some far-fetched idea that he has aspirations for higher office.
Anyone who has studied the history of Ellis Island, including all 4th graders in our school district, are aware of the long-standing territorial dispute between the states. I won’t get into the whole story, but the latest determination made by the Supreme Court in 1998, is that the original land mass (including the majority of the main building) shall be New York, and all of the area that was filled-in over the years , which constitutes 90% of the island, shall be New Jersey. Not that it matters, because the entire island (and neighboring Liberty Island) is under federal jurisdiction of the National Park Service.
So yes, technically, the Great Hall is located on the New York property. Do I care? No. I am hoping that having such a high-visibility event with bring national attention to the Immigration Museum and that some of the money from the $500 tickets will find its way back to the landmark.
I’m also thinking that maybe Chris is planning to have NJ take control of the whole island once for all. If the state’s National Guard is lined up on the ferry, we’ll know what’s coming. You heard it here first.