Congressmen 'Hope' to Rename Ellis Island Library

Bob Hope (search) was known for his overseas jaunts to entertain troops, but two congressmen want to honor him for his first trip -- to America.

Hope was 4 when his family left England for the U.S., passing through New York's Ellis Island (search) as did millions of other immigrants.

As the anniversary of his death approaches, the congressmen want to rename the third floor of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum (search) as the Bob Hope Memorial Library.

"Bob Hope held a special place in his heart for Ellis Island," Reps. Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks, and Elliot Engel, D-N.Y., wrote other members of Congress last week.

They said it would honor the comedian's "great contributions to the American people, the American culture and the American dream."

The lawmakers planned to announce the proposal when the House of Representatives returns to work Tuesday.

In 1990, the Ellis Island Restoration Commission suggested the name change. At the time, Hope said it would be one of the greatest honors of his life.

Hope was 100 when he died at his Toluca Lake home on July 27, 2003.

His longtime publicist, Ward Grand, said in a letter to the president of the restoration commission that Hope's family would appreciate the honor.

"He was so proud of his heritage, and his national pride is legendary," Grant wrote.