Donald Trump Received Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1986-Truth!

Donald Trump Received Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1986-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
President Trump was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1986 with the likes of Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali.
The Truth:
It’s true that Donald Trump was presented the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1986 by the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation.
The New York Times reported at the time that 80 people, including Donald Trump, were awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor at a ceremony held on Ellis Island in October 1986:

The medals will be presented to the recipients, all either naturalized or native Americans, at a ceremony Oct. 27 on Ellis Island. That is the day before the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, the final event of the 1986 Liberty Centennial observances.

The announcement of the awards was made at a news conference in a midtown restaurant by the president of the foundation, William F. May, and the chairman of the New York Statue of Liberty Centennial Commission, William D. Fugazy.

Honorary medals will also be presented to John Cardinal O’Connor; Lee A. Iacocca, chairman of the foundation, and Mr. May. Reaction by Koch

Mr. Fugazy said the medal was thought up in June, after the foundation’s naming of 12 naturalized Americans for the Medal of Liberty had produced an outcry. Critics of the award noted then that not even such major ethnic groups as the Irish, Italians and Poles were represented among the 12.

1986 was the first year that the Ellis Island Medal of Honor was presented. Today, the award is administered by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), which describes the award as such:

The Ellis Island Medals of Honor embody the spirit of America in their celebration of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity. They recognize individuals who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity; all while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America.  As always, NECO remains dedicated to the maintenance and restoration of America’s greatest symbol of its immigrant history, Ellis Island.

Since its founding in 1986, the Medal has been officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of our nation’s most prestigious awards. In that time we have honored distinguished and diverse Americans including six Presidents of the United States; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as esteemed Americans such as Frank Sinatra, Lee Iacocca, Quincy Jones, Muhammad Ali, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel,  Louis Zamperini and Rosa Parks, just to name a few.

A photograph circulating of Donald Trump, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali after they received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor is real, too:

Trump Ellis Island Medal of Honor
Donald Trump, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali are among those pictured receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1986.

Donald Trump receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for “patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity” first emerged during the 2016 presidential election when Trump proposed controversial measures like a border wall and a halt to immigration from Muslim-majority countries. That controversy was stirred up again after Trump was elected president and actually began to take act on those campaign pledges.