THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

Discover the history of the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty stands proudly as one of the most prominent attractions in the United States, captivating the imagination of millions who come to witness its grandeur each year. As a symbol of freedom and democracy, it holds a special place in the hearts of people worldwide. Its towering presence and symbolic torch beckon visitors from near and far, inspiring a sense of hope and aspiration.

In this journey of discovery, we will delve deeper into the history and significance of Lady Liberty. 

STATUE OF LIBERTY

Who Designed It

The mastermind behind the design of the Statue of Liberty was the renowned French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. Selected by Edouard de Laboulaye, a prominent Frenchman, Bartholdi was tasked with creating a monument that would commemorate the friendship between France and the United States, as well as honor the achievements of President Abraham Lincoln.

Having previously collaborated with Laboulaye on a bust, Bartholdi eagerly took on the project and dedicated several years to bringing the Statue of Liberty to life. However, he wasn’t the sole contributor to the statue’s creation. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the renowned engineer famous for designing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, also played a role in the statue’s design. Although his involvement was more consultative, Eiffel provided valuable expertise in the engineering aspects of this iconic structure.

Together, Bartholdi and Eiffel combined their talents and expertise to bring the Statue of Liberty into existence, forever leaving their mark on the New York City skyline and symbolizing the enduring friendship between France and the United States.

Facts

The Statue of Liberty, a remarkable symbol of freedom and democracy, boasts some fascinating facts and figures. Here are a few noteworthy ones:

  • Amount of copper used: The statue contains approximately 62,000 pounds or 31 tons of copper. This metal gives the statue its distinctive greenish color over time.
  • Weight of concrete foundation: The statue’s concrete foundation weighs a staggering 54,000,000 pounds or 125 tons. It provides stability and support to the towering structure.
  • The thickness of copper sheeting: The copper sheeting used in the statue is approximately 3/32 of an inch thick, equivalent to the combined thickness of two pennies placed together.
  • Wind sway: The Statue of Liberty can sway in the wind. Strong winds of around 50 mph can cause the statue to move up to 3 inches, while the torch can sway up to 6 inches.
  • Direction: The statue is positioned facing southeast. This orientation allows people entering the harbor to see and appreciate the Statue of Liberty’s majestic presence.
  • The tablet: The statue holds a tablet inscribed with the date “July 4th, 1776.” This date represents the Declaration of Independence of the United States from Great Britain.
  • The torch: The torch that the statue holds is a replacement from 1986. It is made of copper and covered in 24K gold leaf, adding a radiant touch to the statue.
  • Height of the Statue of Liberty: The overall height of the Statue of Liberty, from the base to the tip of the torch, is approximately 154 feet.

These numbers showcase the magnitude and significance of the Statue of Liberty, making it an awe-inspiring landmark admired by millions of visitors every year.

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How It Was Built 

The construction of the Statue of Liberty commenced in France in 1876. Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, along with a team of skilled French craftsmen, undertook the task of turning his innovative concepts into a tangible masterpiece. The statue’s various components were crafted individually and later transported to the United States for assembly in 1885. 

During a visit to New York City, Bartholdi selected Liberty Island as the statue’s home due to its prominent visibility, symbolizing the “gateway to America.” This choice proved ideal, as the statue not only became an iconic attraction of the city but also a powerful representation of American values and ideals.

Upon the arrival of the statue’s parts, the assembly process swiftly commenced, alongside the construction of the pedestal on which it proudly stands today. On October 28, 1886, the entire process was officially completed, commemorated by a grand dedication ceremony. 

This significant event drew a crowd of approximately one million New Yorkers, who eagerly reveled in the unveiling of the statue, marking the beginning of a rich historical legacy that continues to unfold to this day.

Historical & Cultural Significance 

The Statue of Liberty holds immense historical and cultural significance, representing various ideas and aspirations throughout its existence.

Initially conceived as a symbol of friendship and alliance between France and the United States, the statue served as a tribute to the centennial of the Declaration of Independence. Edouard de Laboulaye, the visionary behind the monument, sought to emphasize the shared values of liberty and democracy between the two nations.

At the time of its creation, the concept of liberty was viewed differently by different people around the world. Some associated it with violence and upheaval. However, Laboulaye and Bartholdi envisioned the statue as a beacon of light, guiding societies toward peaceful progress and embodying the transformative power of liberty. The name “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” encapsulates this profound intention.

The memory of seeing the Statue of Liberty upon entering the United States left an indelible mark on those who sought a better life. They arrived with nothing but their dreams, having crossed an ocean in pursuit of a brighter future. The Statue of Liberty symbolized their hard-earned opportunity to carve out a place in a country that embraced them with open arms.

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Even today, the United States continues to attract immigrants who bring their passions and rally for causes they believe in. The rich history and sentimental value associated with the Statue of Liberty remain relevant, as it represents the aspirations and struggles of those who seek a new beginning in America.

Understanding the significance of the Statue of Liberty is crucial when visiting New York City. It isn’t merely a picturesque sight but a living testament to history and the enduring symbolism it holds. 

Exploring the monument and its surroundings offers an enriching experience, connecting visitors with the past and reminding them of the values that have shaped the nation!

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