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Statue of Liberty

History >> US History before 1900

View of the Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty
Photo by Ducksters
The Statue of Liberty is a large statue that stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The statue was a gift from the people of France and was dedicated on October 28, 1886. It has become one of the most iconic symbols of the United States of America. The official name of the statue is "Liberty Enlightening the World", but she also goes by other names including "Lady Liberty" and the "Mother of Exiles."

What does she represent?

The statue represents the freedom and liberty of the United States democracy. The figure is modeled after a Roman goddess named Libertas. The torch she holds high represents the enlightenment of the world. There are also broken chains at her feet that symbolize the United State breaking free from tyranny. She holds a tablet in her left hand that represents the law and has July 4, 1776 inscribed on it in Roman numerals.

How tall is she?

The height of the statue from the base to the tip of the torch is 151 feet 1 inch (46 meters). If you include the pedestal and the foundation, she is 305 feet 1 inch tall (93 meters). This is about the height of a 30 story building.

Some other interesting measurements for the statue include her head (17 feet 3 inches tall), her nose (4 feet 6 inches long), her right arm (42 feet long), and her index finger (8 feet long).

When was she built?

The Arm and Torch
Statue of Liberty Arm, 1876
Phildadelphia Centennial Exposition
by Unknown
The project to build the Statue of Liberty was announced in France in 1875. The arm and torch were constructed first and were displayed at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. The head was completed next and shown at the 1878 Paris World's Fair. The rest of the statue was built in sections over several years.

In 1885, the sections of the statue were shipped to the United States. The assembly of the statue began in April of 1886. First the iron frame was built and then the copper pieces were put over the top. The statue was finally completed and dedicated on October 28, 1886.

Who designed the Statue of Liberty?

The idea for the statue was first presented by French anti-slavery activist Edouard de Laboulaye to the French sculptor Frederic Bartholdi. Bartholdi then took the idea and ran with it. He wanted to design a giant statue. He designed the Statue of Liberty, helped to raise funding for the project, and picked the site in New York Harbor.

Who built the Statue of Liberty?

The internal construction was built by civil engineer Gustave Eiffel (who would later build the Eiffel Tower). He came up with the unique idea to use an iron grid structure inside the statue for support. This would give the statue strength and reduce the stress on the outer copper skin at the same time.

Visiting the Statue

Today, the Statue of Liberty is part of the U.S National Park Service. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Around 4 million people visit the monument each year. It is free to visit, but there is a cost to take the ferry to the island. If you want to climb to the top, be sure to get your tickets early as only 240 people each day are allowed to climb to the crown.

Interesting Facts About the Statue of Liberty Activities

Works Cited

History >> US History before 1900

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