The Statue of Liberty


The Statue of Liberty has stood in New York
Harbor for more than 100 years. It was a gift from the people of France in
1884. Its full name is “Liberty Enlightening the
World”. The Statue of Liberty is 46 meters tall from
its base. It is made mostly of copper. Throughout history, images of liberty have
been represented as a woman. The statue is sometimes called “Lady Liberty.” The Statue of Liberty’s face was created to
look like the sculptor’s mother. Her right arm holds a torch with a flame high
in the air. Her left arm holds a tablet with the date
of the Declaration of Independence — July 4, 1776. On her head she wears a crown of seven points. Each is meant to represent the light of freedom
as it shines on the seven seas and seven continents of the world. Twenty-five windows in the crown represent
gemstones found on Earth. A chain that represents oppression lies broken
at her feet. In 1903, a bronze plaque was placed on the
inner wall of the statue’s support structure or pedestal. On it are words from the poem “The New Colossus”
written by Emma Lazarus in 1883. The plaque represents the statue’s message
of hope for people seeking freedom. These are some of its best known words:
READER: 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, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!The
United States and France have been friends and allies since the time of the American
Revolution. France helped the American colonial armies
defeat the British. The war officially ended in 1783. A few years later, the French rebelled against
their king. A French historian and political leader, Edouard-Rene
Lefebvre de Laboulaye, had the idea for the statue. In 1865, he suggested that the French and
the Americans build a monument together to celebrate freedom. Artist Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi immediately
agreed to design it. In 1875, the French established an organization
to raise money for Bartholdi’s creation. Two years later, an American group was formed
to raise money to pay for a pedestal to support the statue. American architect Richard Morris Hunt was
chosen to design this support structure. It would stand 47 meters high. In France, Bartholdi designed a very small
statue. Then he built a series of larger copies. Workers created a wooden form covered with
plaster for each part. Then they placed 300 pieces of copper on the
forms. This copper skin was less than three centimeters
thick. The statue also needed a structure that could
hold its weight of more than 200 tons. French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel created
this new technology. Later, he would build the famous Eiffel Tower
in Paris. Eiffel and others worked in Paris to produce
a strong iron support system for the statue. The design also needed to permit the statue
to move a little in strong winds. France had wanted to give the statue to the
United States on the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence — July
4, 1876. But technical problems and lack of money delayed
the project. France finally presented the statue to the
United States in Paris in 1884. But the pedestal, being built in New York,
was not finished. Not enough money had been given to complete
the project. The publisher of the New York World newspaper
came to the rescue. Joseph Pulitzer used his newspaper to urge
Americans to give more money to finish the pedestal. His efforts brought in another 100,000 dollars. And the pedestal was finished. In France, workers separated the statue into
350 pieces, put them on a ship and sent them across the ocean. The statue arrived in New York in more than
200 wooden boxes. It took workers four months to put together
the statue on the new pedestal. President Grover Cleveland officially accepted
the statue in a ceremony on October 28, 1886. He said: “We will not forget that Liberty
has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.”The Statue of Liberty became a symbol of hope
for immigrants coming to the United States by ship from Europe. More than 12 million people passed the statue
between 1892 and 1954 on their way to the immigration center on nearby Ellis Island. More than 40% of Americans have an ancestor
who passed through Ellis Island. Through the years, millions of people continued
to visit the Statue of Liberty. A trip to New York City did not seem complete
without it. Still, the statue was old and becoming dangerous
for visitors. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan asked businessman
Lee Iacocca to lead a campaign to repair it. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation
raised about 100 million dollars in private money to do the work. The repairs included replacing the torch and
covering it with 24 carat gold. On July 4, 1986, New York City celebrated
a restored and re-opened Statue of Liberty. Officials closed the Statue of Liberty following
the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. It remained closed until August, 2004. When it re-opened, visitors could only go
onto the statue’s pedestal. But the Statue continued to attract visitors—more
than three million a year. This year, on July 4th, visitors once again
will be able to climb inside the statue all the way to the top. It is not an easy thing to do. More than 350 steps lead to Lady Liberty’s
crown. The National Park Service says it will limit
the number of climbers to about 200 a day. No more than ten people will be able to go
up at one time. At that rate, officials estimate that more
than 100,000 people will be able to climb to the top each year. But if you want to visit the newly opened
Statue of Liberty, you must do it within the next two years. That is because the National Park Service
plans to close it again for more repairs. Officials say the improvements could take
as long as two years. But they say the work will make it possible
to safely double the number of visitors permitted inside.The
Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island is one of America’s national parks. It includes both Liberty Island, where the
statue stands, and nearby Ellis Island, the former federal immigration processing center. Officials at the center examined many of the
immigrants who arrived by ship before they were permitted to enter the United States. The main building was restored and opened
as a museum in 1990. The museum includes pictures, videos, interactive
displays and recordings of immigrants who went through Ellis Island until it was closed
in 1954. One popular exhibit is the Immigrant Wall
of Honor outside the main building. It honors all immigrants to the United States
no matter where they entered the country. It now lists the names of more than 700,000
people. A new area of wall is being prepared for more
names to be added. An immigration history center on the island
contains the ship records of passengers who entered through New York from 1892 through
1924. Those were the years of the great wave of
European immigration, before the United States passed restrictive immigration laws. One recent visitor said the Ellis Island immigration
hall feels alive with the stories of people who left their native lands long ago to start
a new life in a new country.

1 thought on “The Statue of Liberty

  • The Statue of Liberty has stood in New York Harbor for more than 100 years. It was a gift from the people of France in 1884. Its full name is "Liberty Enlightening the World".
    The Statue of Liberty is 46 meters tall from its base. It is made mostly of copper. Throughout history, images of liberty have been represented as a woman. The statue is sometimes called "Lady Liberty."
    The Statue of Liberty's face was created to look like the sculptor's mother. Her right arm holds a torch with a flame high in the air. Her left arm holds a tablet with the date of the Declaration of Independence — July 4, 1776. On her head she wears a crown of seven points. Each is meant to represent the light of freedom as it shines on the seven seas and seven continents of the world. Twenty-five windows in the crown represent gemstones found on Earth. A chain that represents oppression lies broken at her feet.
    In 1903, a bronze plaque was placed on the inner wall of the statue's support structure or pedestal. On it are words from the poem "The New Colossus" written by Emma Lazarus in 1883. The plaque represents the statue's message of hope for people seeking freedom. These are some of its best known words:
    READER:
    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,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!The United States and France have been friends and allies since the time of the American Revolution. France helped the American colonial armies defeat the British. The war officially ended in 1783. A few years later, the French rebelled against their king.
    A French historian and political leader, Edouard-Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye, had the idea for the statue. In 1865, he suggested that the French and the Americans build a monument together to celebrate freedom. Artist Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi immediately agreed to design it.
    In 1875, the French established an organization to raise money for Bartholdi's creation. Two years later, an American group was formed to raise money to pay for a pedestal to support the statue. American architect Richard Morris Hunt was chosen to design this support structure. It would stand 47 meters high.
    In France, Bartholdi designed a very small statue. Then he built a series of larger copies. Workers created a wooden form covered with plaster for each part. Then they placed 300 pieces of copper on the forms. This copper skin was less than three centimeters thick.
    The statue also needed a structure that could hold its weight of more than 200 tons. French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel created this new technology. Later, he would build the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris.
    Eiffel and others worked in Paris to produce a strong iron support system for the statue. The design also needed to permit the statue to move a little in strong winds.
    France had wanted to give the statue to the United States on the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence — July 4, 1876. But technical problems and lack of money delayed the project. France finally presented the statue to the United States in Paris in 1884. But the pedestal, being built in New York, was not finished. Not enough money had been given to complete the project.
    The publisher of the New York World newspaper came to the rescue. Joseph Pulitzer used his newspaper to urge Americans to give more money to finish the pedestal. His efforts brought in another 100,000 dollars. And the pedestal was finished.
    In France, workers separated the statue into 350 pieces, put them on a ship and sent them across the ocean. The statue arrived in New York in more than 200 wooden boxes. It took workers four months to put together the statue on the new pedestal. President Grover Cleveland officially accepted the statue in a ceremony on October 28, 1886. He said: "We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected."The Statue of Liberty became a symbol of hope for immigrants coming to the United States by ship from Europe. More than 12 million people passed the statue between 1892 and 1954 on their way to the immigration center on nearby Ellis Island.
    More than 40% of Americans have an ancestor who passed through Ellis Island. Through the years, millions of people continued to visit the Statue of Liberty. A trip to New York City did not seem complete without it.
    Still, the statue was old and becoming dangerous for visitors. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan asked businessman Lee Iacocca to lead a campaign to repair it. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation raised about 100 million dollars in private money to do the work. The repairs included replacing the torch and covering it with 24 carat gold. On July 4, 1986, New York City celebrated a restored and re-opened Statue of Liberty.
    Officials closed the Statue of Liberty following the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. It remained closed until August, 2004. When it re-opened, visitors could only go onto the statue's pedestal. But the Statue continued to attract visitors—more than three million a year.
    This year, on July 4th, visitors once again will be able to climb inside the statue all the way to the top. It is not an easy thing to do. More than 350 steps lead to Lady Liberty's crown. The National Park Service says it will limit the number of climbers to about 200 a day. No more than ten people will be able to go up at one time. At that rate, officials estimate that more than 100,000 people will be able to climb to the top each year.
    But if you want to visit the newly opened Statue of Liberty, you must do it within the next two years. That is because the National Park Service plans to close it again for more repairs. Officials say the improvements could take as long as two years. But they say the work will make it possible to safely double the number of visitors permitted inside.The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island is one of America's national parks. It includes both Liberty Island, where the statue stands, and nearby Ellis Island, the former federal immigration processing center.
    Officials at the center examined many of the immigrants who arrived by ship before they were permitted to enter the United States. The main building was restored and opened as a museum in 1990. The museum includes pictures, videos, interactive displays and recordings of immigrants who went through Ellis Island until it was closed in 1954.
    One popular exhibit is the Immigrant Wall of Honor outside the main building. It honors all immigrants to the United States no matter where they entered the country. It now lists the names of more than 700,000 people. A new area of wall is being prepared for more names to be added.
    An immigration history center on the island contains the ship records of passengers who entered through New York from 1892 through 1924. Those were the years of the great wave of European immigration, before the United States passed restrictive immigration laws.
    One recent visitor said the Ellis Island immigration hall feels alive with the stories of people who left their native lands long ago to start a new life in a new country.

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