“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.”
- Poem by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal
Even though “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” – or more commonly known, the Statue of Liberty - wears a crown and stands at a whopping 305 feet tall from pedestal to torch tip, she’s no monarch. In fact, she’s all about the common man. With a Declaration of Independence-themed tablet in her left hand, the light of liberty held high in her right, and the chains of oppression broken at her feet, she welcomes everyone equally to New York Harbor.
The French sculptor Frederic-August Bartholdi designed her, and the French nation gave her to the United States as a gift to mark the American Centennial.
She arrived in New York Harbor packed in 214 crates on June 19, 1885, but these pieces sat around for 11 months as the pedestal was built. President Cleveland presided over the dedication ceremony when she was finished in October 28, 1886. Lady Liberty’s copper skin (which could make 30 million pennies) was originally reddish brown and oxidized after about 30 years into the lovely green patina we know today.
Not exactly demure in size, Lady Liberty weighs 450,00 pounds (204,100 kilograms) and wears size 879 sandals, which she sports even in the winter. Due to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Liberty Island was closed to the public until it reopened on July 4th, 2013. We may be a bit biased, but we believe the best way to view the Statue of Liberty is through a Circle Line tour.
Learn more at www.nps.gov
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