Press Play to start audio

July 04, 2008

Give Us Your Sick

When John Wilberding came from Germany to America as a child, the doctors at Ellis Island wouldn't let him into the country. That's because right before leaving he'd gone to say goodbye to a little girl chum ... and she had the measles. So he and his brother were quarantined in a contagious disease ward where thousands of other immigrants were kept. 

John remembers always wanting the blinds to be up on the windows of his room so he could see the Statue of Liberty. For almost 40 years, the hospital complex has sat deserted. Now it's finally under restoration, and John is featured in a documentary about Ellis Island.

Tagged with

You might also like…

Daily Story Update

Get daily updates and special announcements about The Story.

Produced by

WUNC North Carolina Public Radio 91.5 logo