Top 10 Interesting Facts About the Statue of Liberty
Since its unveiling in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has been an iconic landmark in New York City. This famous neoclassical sculpture was gifted to the United States by France as a symbol of freedom, democracy, and human rights, and has since become a significant tourist destination. Stay on this page to find out the most interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty.
10 Interesting Facts About the Statue of Liberty
1. The Torch of Lady Liberty was originally used as a lighthouse
The iconic torch of the Statue of Liberty is one of its most recognizable features. Standing 151 feet above the ground, it was originally designed as a beacon for ships entering New York Harbor. Equipped with a powerful light, it could be seen from up to 24 miles away. However, due to design flaws and fire hazards, the original lighting system was replaced with a safer and more efficient one. The torch is made of copper and still stands tall, illuminating the harbor as a symbol of freedom and democracy.
2. It sustained damage by German forces during both World War I and II
The Statue of Liberty has a tumultuous history. It was damaged twice by German forces during World War I and II but despite the setbacks, the statue was repaired each time. Its repairs required significant effort and resources, but the statue's importance to those who cherished it made it a worthwhile endeavor. Its restoration after both wars is a testament to the enduring power of art and the human spirit, symbolizing hope and freedom for generations to come.
3. Emma Lazarus’s poem is commemorated at the base of the Statue of Liberty
There is a plaque located at the base of the Statue of Liberty that commemorates Emma Lazarus's famous poem, "The New Colossus." The poem was added to the statue in 1903 and has since become an iconic symbol of American immigration. The poem's famous lines, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," have become a symbol of hope for immigrants coming to the United States in search of a new start. The statue and its accompanying plaque continue to be a powerful symbol of American values and ideals.
4. The initial destination for the statue was supposed to be Egypt
The Statue of Liberty was gifted to the USA by France, with initial plans to place it in Egypt as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. However, due to financial concerns, the plan was abandoned, and the statue found a home in New York Harbor. Standing tall as a symbol of democracy and freedom, the statue continues to inspire millions of people worldwide.
5. The statue was shipped to the USA in more than 200 crates
The Statue of Liberty was made in France and then transported to the United States in over 200 individual crates. It was first dismantled into pieces, and then each section was shipped separately across the Atlantic Ocean. Once in New York, the statue was reassembled and erected on its pedestal on Liberty Island in the New York Harbor. This Herculean task was a remarkable engineering accomplishment and a testament to the enduring importance of this iconic monument.
6. The original color of the statue was not green
The Statue of Liberty's exterior changed color over time from reddish-brown to green because of the copper material reacting with air and moisture. This chemical reaction is called oxidation, which creates a layer of patina that protects the statue from further damage. The green hue is now a famous and treasured characteristic of the statue, contributing to its allure and enchantment.
7. The statue had a significant role to play in both the World Wars
During World War I and World War II, the Statue of Liberty played a vital role as a lookout post for the US military. Soldiers were stationed inside the statue's pedestal and crown to keep watch for any potential threats to the New York Harbor. The statue's height and location made it an ideal vantage point for spotting enemy ships and submarines, and it was an important part of the nation's defense strategy during both conflicts.
8. Gustave Eiffel helped design the statue's internal structure
Gustave Eiffel, the same engineer who designed the Eiffel Tower, also created the internal scaffolding to hold the statue in place. The statue's framework has an intricate lattice-work design, which helps it to withstand harsh weather conditions and supports its massive copper exterior. Eiffel's genius engineering has ensured the statue's stability for future generations to admire.
9. There are 154 steps inside the statue that go from the pedestal to the crown
There are 154 steps to get to the crown of the statue from the pedestal. Although the climb is tough, it is worth it as the experience offers spectacular views of the New York Harbor and the surrounding skyline. Standing on top of one of the world's most renowned monuments is an unforgettable experience. The breathtaking scenery that you can see from here is one to cherish for a lifetime.
10. The original torch of the statue was replaced and is now displayed in a museum
In 1986, the torch of the Statue of Liberty was replaced due to structural issues, and a new torch was installed. The original torch, which had stood for over a century, was placed in the museum on Liberty Island for visitors to see. The display of the original torch in the museum allows visitors to see firsthand the remarkable craftsmanship that went into creating this iconic symbol. It also serves as a reminder of the statue's enduring legacy and the stellar engineering that went into its creation.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Statue of Liberty
One of the most interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty is that it was a gift from France to the United States to celebrate the centennial of American independence in 1876.
The construction of the statue began in France in 1875, and it was completed in 1884.
The Statue of Liberty was first unveiled on October 28, 1886.
The idea for the Statue of Liberty originated with Edouard de Laboulaye, a French abolitionist who wanted to portray the solidarity and friendship between France and the United States.
French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi designed the Statue of Liberty and Gustave Eiffel was the engineer who executed the design.
Yes, the Statue of Liberty was originally shiny copper but over time, it oxidized and formed the green patina that you see today.
The idea behind building the statue was to symbolize liberty and democracy. It is often referred to as "Lady Liberty."
Yes, to get the statue to America, it was disassembled and shipped in over 200 crates.
Yes, initially, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi envisioned the statue to be placed on the Suez Canal in Egypt. However, due to financial restraints, this plan was rejected and the statue was to be sent to the US instead.