The massive monument, with its distinctive green patina, soars above 300 feet and is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The dedication celebration took place on October 28, 1886 attended by President Grover Cleveland.
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Statue of Liberty Facts: The Meaning of the Symbols
The figure design of the Statue of Liberty reflects the classical period of the Greeks and Romans and is a depiction of the Roman Goddess Libertas representing Liberty
The broken chains, near the feet of the monument symbolize that the struggle for freedom ended in complete victory and the end of tyranny
The torch represents the values of liberty and enlightenment and the rays indicate the spread of these values
The seven spikes of the crown are rays of light representing the seven seas and seven continents of the world.
Facts about the Statue of Liberty Facts for Kids
What is the Statue of Liberty holding? She is holding a tablet inscribed with the date of the Independence of America in her left hand and a raised torch in her right hand representing knowledge and enlightenment
When was the Statue of Liberty built? Construction started on September 1875 and the monument was completed in July, 1884 and arrived in New York Harbor in June of 1885.
Why was the Statue of Liberty built? It was built by France to celebrate America's first 100 years as a nation and the tablet is inscribed with the date of American Independence. The monument commemorates the alliance between the United States and France during the Revolutionary War.
The idea for the statue is credited to Edouard de Laboulaye, a French political intellectual and anti-slavery activist, who proposed the monument, a symbol of friendship between France and the United States, should represent Liberty.
The designer and sculptor was Frederick Auguste Bartholdi (1834 – 1904). It is said that the face was modeled after Bartholdi's mother, Charlotte Bartholdi. The monuments original name was 'Liberty Enlightening the World'. He also created the Bartholdi Fountain located in Bartholdi Park, United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.
Bartholdi hired Eugene Viollet-le-Duc as the initial internal designer of the structure but he died in 1879 and Bartholdi hired Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel as his replacement.
Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel designed a 92-foot tall pylon to be the primary support structure for the interior. He went on to design the Eiffel Tower which was completed for Paris's World Fair in 1889
There is a replica in Paris on the Ile aux Cygnes which faces west, in alignment with the monument in New York.
Bartholdi selected Bedloe's Island as the site for the statue because he considered it's location as the "Gateway to America." The island measures 10 acres (4 hectares)
On February 22, 1877, Congress voted to accept the gift, and set apart Bedloe's Island for the site.
History of the Island: The island was originally part of the Oyster Islands Chain", then named Love Island. It was re-named "Bedloe's Island" was named after the new owner, a Dutch Colonist called name Isaac Bedloe.
History of the Island: The island was then used as a quarantine station for small pox and sold to the city of New York in 1758. Fort Wood was in 1807 to protect New York City from British invasion during the War of 1812.
She was transported from France on board the French frigate "Isere". Whilst in transit, she was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. Its official presentation to the minister of the United States took place July 4, 1884.
The Statue was erected a large granite pedestal inside the courtyard of the star shaped walls of Fort Wood, built for the War of 1812 against the British
The dedication of monument took place October 28, 1886 during the presidency of Grover Cleveland. The Dedication celebration was a great event attended by President Cleveland, General Sheridan, the members of the President's cabinet and the sculptor Bartholdi together with thousands of people with parades, music, flags and gunshot salutes. Every bell in New York harbor was rung.
It would later become the iconic landmark for all European immigrants on the last leg of their journey from Europe to Ellis Island and a new life in the United States.
It was designated as a National Monument in 1924 and Bedloe's Island was officially renamed Liberty Island in 1956 through a joint resolution in Congress
In 1903 a a bronze plaque was mounted inside the monument engraved with the words of "The New Colossus" the famous sonnet by Emma Lazarus that likens the monument to the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. and welcomes immigrants to the United States
The Black Tom Explosion, perpetrated by German saboteurs on July 30, 1916 during World War 1, rattled the Statue of Liberty so badly that the torch, which had been open to the public for 30 years, had to be closed.
The ladder to the Lady Liberty's torch is still is closed, and has been since the 1916 explosion.
The photograph of the Statue of Liberty was taken in 1917.
Liberty Island, with nearby Ellis Island, became part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1984. A museum is housed in the base of the monument
June 3, 1980 the Bombing of the Statue of Liberty: A time delayed explosive device was detonated at 7:30 pm in the Statue of Liberty Museum Story Room. There were no injuries but the bomb destroyed many of the exhibits and caused $18,000 in damage. No arrests were made but the bombing was believed to be the work of Croatian protestors.
Between 1984 - 1986 restoration work and repairs to the Story Room were completed and some parts of the statue had to be completely replaced with exact replicas of the original. It's centennial was celebrated on July 4, 1986.
Liberty Island was hit by the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012. It was closed for eight months Liberty Island and reopened on July 4, 2013.
Stats and Statue of Liberty Facts for Kids
Her heel to top of head is 111'1" high (33.86m)
The forefinger is more than eight feet long (2.44m)
The length of her hand is 16'5" long (5.00m)
Her finger-nail is a foot long
Her nose is nearly four feet long
Her head is fourteen and a half feet high, and was built to accommodate 40 people
The hollow torch was originally designed to hold twelve people
The copper sheets which form the outside of the monument weigh 88 tons
The Width of her waist is 35 feet ( 0.67m)
Her chin to the top of her head measures 17'3" (5.26m)
The Width of her eye is 2'6" (0.76m)
The Length of her hand is 16'5" (5.00m)
Her crown consists of 25 windows and has 7 rays
The length of the tablet is 23'7" (7.19m)
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