Secrets of the Statue of Liberty

From its mysterious and often mistaken origin
to the damage it’s endured over the centuries, today we look at Secrets of the Statue of
Liberty Number 10. Assembly Required
The Statue of Liberty first arrived from France to New York Harbor via steamship in 1885. Considering the jaw-dropping, sheer size of
the statue, it wasn’t exactly fit to travel by ship, and so it arrived split and divided
up into a collection of crates. As the parts of the great statue arrived,
Americans gathered in droves at the port with 200 thousand people in attendance to welcome
the great new beacon of freedom. But it wasn’t until 1886, after Lady Liberty
was fully constructed, that President Grover Cleveland presided over a massive dedication
ceremony over land and sea, setting the precedent for the first ticker tape parade in the process. Number 9. Bedloe’s Island
Long before the Statue of Liberty reached its shores, the small bit of land it now occupies
was known as Great Oyster Island. The nearby tidal flats of the region were
home to massive oyster beds that served as a main food source of the region for almost
three centuries! The island would eventually be gifted by an
English governor in 1664 to a British Captain, who then went on to sell it to one Isaac Bedloe. It was henceforth known as Bedloe’s Island
and served a variety of uses over the next century as private property. The island would continue to change hands
over the years, sometimes operating as a farm or hunting grounds, and even being utilized
as a smallpox quarantine station. But during the American Revolution, British
forces would attempt to use the island to house Tory sympathizers, but after the dust
settled in 1776, the island’s structures were burnt down. In their stead, the US Army erected Fort Wood,
which would go on to serve as the base of the Statue of Liberty. The name of the landmass would eventually
be changed to Liberty Island by Congress in 1956. Number 8. Impressive Skeleton
While the Statue of Liberty astounds visitors daily with its great, green majestic exterior,
the true marvel of this American landmark is its stabilizing interior. Composed of iron, this multilevel skeleton
supports the statue at its center. When they were built, these pillars formed
the largest freestanding iron structure on Earth. But this title would be eventually passed
on to the taller and equally regal Eiffel Tower, a spiritual sibling to the Statue of
Liberty thanks to their shared designer Gustave Eiffel. This sturdy foundation kept the statue upright
for decades until, in 1980, Lady Liberty received a major renovation. Slowly, but surely, the workers fixing up
the statue replaced each piece of the puddled iron skeleton in 1 to 2 foot long segments. Along with stabilizing the interior, the renovations
also included new lighting, easier interior access, and the installment of a modern elevator! Number 7. Unwanted Gift
Many believe the Statue of Liberty arrived stateside as a gift from France in support
of democracy, liberty, and independence. But this myth is far from the truth with the
concept, construction, and execution being driven by a single individual: Auguste Bartholdi
, sculptor extraordinaire. The famed french artist is responsible for
a number of popular works and monuments across the country, but the Liberty Enlightening
the World, or Statue of Liberty as it came to be known, is by far his crowning achievement. He funded its design himself, raising money
any way he could, going so far as to convince the French government to hold a lottery to
pay for the would-be American statue. But once it was finished and Bartholdi offered
it to the United States under the condition they provide a pedestal for it to stand, the
federal government took offense. With the US not wanting to pay for such a
gift, the future of the statue was stuck in limbo. Luckily, American press mogul Joseph Pulitzer
came to the rescue, organizing the first crowdfunding campaign in using newspapers to convince the
public to donate in support of the required pedestal, and printing their names as donors
in exchange! Number 6. Lighting The Way
Before the many pieces of the Statue of Liberty made it to American soil, the arm and torch
were shipped state side by boat from Paris to New York. As the future of the monument was still in
question, the torch was put to use. It first went to Philadelphia in 1876 as an
attraction at the World’s Fair in Fairmount Park. Visitors were able to pay a fee of fifty cents
each to climb to the torch’s balcony with all money raised going towards finding and
building a home for the statue. Bartholdi was in attendance for this exhibition,
looking after his masterpiece and witnessing its reception live. From there, the torch went back to New York
where it went on display in Madison Square Park between 1876 and 1882. It remained a source of fundraising until
the statue’s pedestal was financially secured and the rest of the statue made its journey
across the Atlantic. Number 5. Freemason Connection
Aside from the false legend of the monstrous sage monument being a gift from France, another
mythos surrounds the Statue of Liberty with a bit more suspicious connotation. Theorists believe the creators of the statue,
Bartholdi and Eiffel, held membership with the Freemasons and that they subtly included
hints at such within the landmark itself. Even the original name, Liberty Enlightening
the World, spoke to one of the major tenants of the Freemasons: enlightenment. Many of the leaders during the Enlightenment
era were Freemasons, and this secret society has been given much of the credit for bringing
liberalism and democracy to Europe as a whole between the 18th and 20th centuries. If this wasn’t enough evidence to connect
Freemasonry to the statue, in 1884 a connection was made seemingly apparent. Freemason grand master William A Brodie presided
over the laying of the cornerstone at the Statue of Liberty in a ceremony among fellow
lodge members. Of the moment and the Mason’s involvement,
Brodie said: “Why call upon the Masonic Fraternity to lay the cornerstone of such a structure
as is here to be erected? No institution has done more to promote liberty
and to free men from the trammels and chains of ignorance and tyranny than has Freemasonry.” This moment was celebrated a century later
with the installment of a plaque at the base of the monument. Number 4. Damage Control
In 1916, a group of German spies attacked the munitions facility at Black Tom Island,
setting off a catastrophic explosion that affected buildings across the region and could
be heard as far away as Maryland. Bunches of dynamite bound for English and
French forces was being prepared for shipment when the spies sabotaged the explosives. Thousands of windows from buildings across
the city shattered in the wake of the blast and seven lives were lost. Less than a mile away from the compound explosion,
the Statue of Liberty shook and shuttered as shrapnel impacted into the head, arm, and
torch. The total damage to the statue was fairly
minor in comparison to other parts of the region, though repair costs ended up totaling
nearly 100 thousand dollars…the equivalent to 2.3 million dollars today. Of the damage sustained, the torch bearing
arm took the brunt of it. For public safety reasons, the interior path
to the torch was closed following this incident and remains so to this day. Number 3. Muse Confusion
Millions of people look at the Statue of Liberty daily, whether they be looking directly at
it or at some sort of representation of it in popular media. As such, the face of the Mother of Freedom
has become recognizable by many. But whose face is it really? One account tells of a meeting between Bartholdi
and French Senator Jules Bozerian at an opera house in which the sculptor confessed the
identity of his muse. When the senator reached Bartholdi’s box,
as the story goes, he parted the curtain to find a real, living version of the statue
before his very eyes. Responding to the senator’s astonishment,
Bartholdi supposedly told him “But do you know who this lady is? She’s my mother.” However, in 2014, a different truth was proposed
when French writer Nathalie Salmon claimed her ancestor Sarah had been Bartholdi’s inspiration,
giving details in her book “Lady Liberty I Love You.” The story goes that Sarah Salmon’s husband,
Adolphe , had made a fortune in California before meeting the famous sculptor in his
travels. The couple visited Paris and met with Bartholdi
at his studio, at which time the artist was so awestruck by her features that he incorporated
them in his work. At the end of the day, however, the truth
may never be known as to what woman really inspired such an iconic symbol of freedom. Number 2. Intercontinental Replicas
Within the United States, the Statue of Liberty has grown to iconic prominence as a symbol
of everything the USA stands for. It’s earned a litany of nicknames over the
years with Americans affectionately referring to her as America’s Freedom, the Green Goddess,
the Mother of Exiles, the Spirit of American Independence and many more patriotic titles. But outside of the states, this world-renowned
structure has many dopplegangers…though at a fraction of the size. The original model for the Statue of Liberty
can be found within the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. Not far from there, on the manmade island
atop the Seine [Senn] River, another incarnation sits on display in commemoration of the French
Revolution. But these smaller versions aren’t exclusive
to France, with many Statue of Liberty sculptures sitting atop the roof of the Brooklyn Museum. Modern editions have appeared too, with a
Lego version and a deconstructed art project placing these Statues of Liberty right around
Times Square. Number 1. Almost Gold
Prior to becoming the great green lady in the water, the Statue of Liberty was actually
copper. Chemical reactions with the environment eventually
developed into a layer of patina, giving the great patriotic structure a more verdant hue. But this effect was almost avoided entirely
when sculptor Auguste Bartholdi considered coating the statue in a layer of gold! He had hoped for the statue to double as a
lighthouse, but attaining the brightness needed to operate as such proved troublesome, giving
birth to the extravagant notion of a gilded exterior. The price of such an endeavor would have been
insanely expensive, and raising funds just to place the statue in New York Harbor was
tough enough. As such, that plan never came to fruition.

6 thoughts on “Secrets of the Statue of Liberty

  • You forgot to mention that the 1st Stature of Liberty was a "black woman" with chains around her ankles!!!! Do the research!!!!

  • This Statue was designed by two French architects with beaten sheets of Copper, and the Torch had Real fire burning in its hand.Was transported to U.S.A Aas an honery gift.

    Due to temperature changes the metal turned Green and the Torch kept going off.

    So the people made a Torch covered with a sheet of Gold.

    The Legend says its based on a Real Woman, an arrogant & Cruel Queen from the Early Babylonian times

  • It's got 25 HIDDEN nukes that will kill each and every fcuked up american!!!!!
    Best regards, France…

  • There’s also another mini version in Leavenworth Kansas in front of the old court house building. 🙂
    ❤️, A Dorothy In Red Mary Janes

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