Happy Birthday, Lady Liberty! You’re looking good at 125 years.
In 1983, Illusionist David Copperfield made it disappear. Her 21-foot torch provided the meeting place for Spiderman and his friend, the Human Torch. She has rescued America from the evils of Vigo the Carpathian in Ghostbusters II. And, she has served as a historical backdrop, satirical fodder, and an object of destruction in Planet of the Apes, Spaceballs, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, X-Men, Madagascar, The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, and countless other films.
The Statue of Liberty was officially unveiled on October 28, 1886 in New York Harbor on what was known as Bedloe’s Island (whose name later changed to Liberty Island in 1956). Including the concrete foundation, the Statue of Liberty weighs in at over 27,000 tons and is constructed of steel and copper. Lady Liberty’s copper torch, which was replaced in 1986, is covered in 24k. gold leaf so it reflects sunlight during the daytime and floodlights during the evening.
The Statue of Liberty was envisioned by famed French abolitionist and scholar, Edouard de Laboulaye, to represent the alliance between France and the United States during the American Revolution in the 1770s. America would be responsible for funding and building the pedestal while France would take responsibility to build, transport, and assemble the statue itself with the unveiling scheduled for the 100th anniversary of the American Revolution. However, due to obstacles in funding on both sides of the Atlantic, the dedication of the statue was dedicated in 1886, making the centennial gift ten years late. Nonetheless, The Statue of Liberty has come to symbolize freedom, new beginnings, friendship, and hope to Americans and immigrants alike. And with the help of future restorations and preservation, The Statue of Liberty should withstand another 125+ years.
For more information about The Statue of Liberty
(like the fact that the statue was supposed to be a peasant woman standing at the mouth of the Suez Canal in Egypt)
or other awesome library resources, feel free to swing by the library!
Statue Statistics. National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 16 Aug. 2006. Web. 1 Nov. 2011.
Baker, Kevin. America: The Story of US, an Illustrated History. New York: A & E Television Networks, LLC, 2010. Print.
Stokely, Anne. “Statue of Liberty.” Our States: Geographic Treasures (2011): 1-4. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 1 Nov. 2011