How Old Is The Statue Of Liberty?
Statue of Liberty is much more than just a monument for the people of the US. She is a symbol of freedom for most Americans. She was gifted to the citizens of the US from the people of France in 1886. Placed on Liberty Island, New York City, she is recognized as a symbol of democracy and freedom around the world. She delivers a universal message of freedom and hope to immigrants entering America and those seeking freedom across the globe. In 1924, she gained status as a National Monument. This oneHOWTO article will give you an idea of how old the Statue of Liberty is, her history, and some of her most interesting facts.
History of Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was built in France and then gifted to the US in 1886. Lady Liberty was placed in New York Bay on the Liberty Island. Soon after, in the 19th century, she became a guiding light for more than 9 million immigrants. She was the brain child of poet Edouard de Laboulaye and sculptor Frederic Bartholdi brought her to reality. The statue got her name after Liberatas, the Roman Goddess. Built from steel, iron and copper layers, the statue stands at 111 feet tall. The torch in her right hand is 24k gold, and her pedestal’s base has a bronze plaque. Today, more than 400 million people visit the site yearly.
Construction planning: France helped the US in the Revolutionary War. Since both the countries had similar views on politics at that time, activist and poet Edouard Rene Laboulaye suggested that France give a gift of friendship to the US. Edouard planned the gift , and Bartholdi constructed the statue.
Placement of the statue: Before constructing the statue, Bartholdi visited the US in 1865 to identify the most suitable location for it. He selected Bedloe’s Island, as it is located at the entry gate to America. He was amazed with the huge buildings in the city, and, as a result, decided to create something big and grand. Her construction took several years to make. Made of copper, it was difficult to transport her to the US in one piece. So, he decided to build her in pieces which he assembled after shipping.
Fundraising: French used donations and lotteries of around $250,000 to start construction of the statue. US donated $180,000 more to help with the cost of assembling and installation.
Statue of Liberty Today: The US received thousands of immigrants between the 1910-1920s, and the statue welcomed all of them who traveled by sea. She guarded all those who passed through the Ellis Island. The National Park Service undertook the statue’s maintenance work in 1933. Elaborate renovation was done on the statue in 1984 which continued for around 2 years. In 2001, the government prohibited anyone from entering inside the statue due to concerns about terrorism. However the pedestal area opened in 2004, and trips to the crown could be taken from 2009.There is a second staircase currently under construction, however, no one is currently allowed to enter the Statue.
Interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty
There are so many interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty that we simply had to share with you!
- The Statue of Liberty is a friend to all. There have been a lot of nicknames given to her, such as: Aunt Liberty, America’s Freedom, Giant Goddess, America’s Great Lady, Grande Dame, Bartholdi’s Daughter, The Lady Higher Up, Green Goddess, Lady on a Pedestal, Lady of the Harbor, Lady with a Torch, Mother of Freedom, Mother of Exiles, Spirit of American Independence, Saint Liberty and many more.
The Statue of Liberty itself is a nickname given to her. She was originally named as ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’.
- The total height of the statue, from the pedestal’s base to the torch’s tip, is 305 feet and 6 inches. From heel to top, she is 111 feet and 6 inches tall. She has a 35 feet waistline, at total weight of 225 tons. Lady Liberty wears a shoe size 879.
- The spikes in her hat are not simply a ´fashion statement´. They are seven spikes and each symbolize the seven continents and seven oceans of the world. This was the entire concept of liberty, it was not limited to France and the US alone.
- The star shaped Fort Wood, that serves as pedestal for the statue, once accommodated families of military personnel from 1818 to the 1930s. Children used to climb up to the torch tower and move it in a rocking motion back and forth, some dropped balls from the crown to check how high they bounced. The NPR who was responsible for the maintenance of the statue was even offered free housing on the Liberty Island.
- If you thought that Statue of Liberty is nothing but a huge lump of metal, think again. She actually served as a lighthouse, guiding sailors and ships after a long ocean trip.
- Until 1916, tourists were allowed to climb up to the statue's, but after the Black Tom explosion, access was denied. On the 30th of July 1916, the Black Tom explosion, a blast said to be equivalent to a 5.5 Richter Scale, went off. Some parts of the bombs and shells lodged into the Statue of Liberty and some damages were made. Although you cannot mount the torch today, you can however still enjoy the view by accessing a TorchCam which was installed in 2011.
- According to an estimated number, the Statue of Liberty has been struck by lightning around 600 times.
- The statue has an iron interior and copper exterior. The green tint you see on the body of the Statue of Liberty is not paint. She has gotten her green color because of copper oxidation. The copper metal layer on the exterior has corroded and undergone damage, naturally. It does however have a green coating which is known to protect the metal from further corrosion.
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