She wears size 879 shoes and she has a 35-foot waistline. You may not see it clearly because of her robes, but she is in fact standing among a broken shackle and chains, with her right foot raised. More than 4 million people visit her each year. Who is she, exactly? Her name is Liberty Enlightening the World. People know her most popularly today as the Statue of Liberty.
After being closed to the public for more than a year, the Statue of Liberty has recently re-opened on the 4th of July, and visitors have then flocked to see her again. The National Park Service spent more than $70 million to repair infrastructure on the Liberty Island and the nearby Ellis Island, which were damaged by super storm Sandy as well.
Now that it is open again, tourists can resume visiting the place for leisure and travel purposes. They generally see this statue as a tourist spot but it actually represents a lot of historical value to us Americans, doesn’t it? The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. For most of us who studied history, we were already made aware of all the important events, along with the dates to go with it. But what other interesting facts are there about this significant landmark in New York that they didn’t teach in textbooks?
The statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World and she officially celebrated her 120th birthday on October 28, 2006. From afar, you can see that she is a robed female figure who is actually representing the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas. She holds a torch and tablet upon which is inscribed the date of American Declaration of Independence.
Building the statue was considered as a cooperative effort between America and France as it was agreed that the Americans were to build the pedestal while the French were to build the statue itself. The cost of the statue was funded by contributions from both countries as well, and it is believed that more than $102,000 had been raised from donors. French Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design a sculpture and it is known that the statue’s face was modeled based on facial features of his mother, Charlotte.
When the statue was erected in 1886, it was the tallest iron structure ever built. As a matter of fact, visitors today have to climb 354 stairs to reach the statue’s crown. The statue has then been very popular and has been included in a lot of cinematic appearances, including Planet of the Apes, Independence Day, and The Day After Tomorrow, to name a few.
Other interesting facts include the existence of various replicas of the statue, including a smaller version in Paris, and one on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. Also, the statue is thought to have been hit by around 600 bolts of lightning every year since it was built and, in high winds, the statue can sway by up to 3 inches, while her torch can move 5 inches. Who knew, right?
There are a lot of other interesting facts about this historical landmark and the best way to discover them is to visit the place yourself. In doing so, you can also obtain a unique and full experience of American History as mentioned in your history textbooks.