The famous Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and since then has been a beacon of hope for millions of American citizens, immigrants seeking a better life and lovers of freedom across the globe. To celebrate 128 years of Lady Liberty’s presence on Liberty Island in middle of New York Harbor, here are a few fun facts about this colossal neoclassical sculpture.
The statue’s full title is “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” and its official name according to the US federal government is the Statue of Liberty National Monument. It was designated a National Monument in 1924 and has been under the care of the National Park Service since 1933. In 1984 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The statue – designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi to represent LIbertas, the Roman goddess of liberty – was gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States. The statue holds a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet of laws) with 4 July 1776 (the date of the Declaration of Independence) inscribed on it with a broken chain at her feet. The statue’s framework was designed by French engineer, Gustave Eiffel. Standing at over 300 foot tall, the statue was the tallest iron structure ever built when it was first erected.
The Statue of Liberty sees about four million visitors a year. To be one of these “huddled masses” you need to travel by ferries operated by Statue Cruises which leave from two locations: Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. If hoping to visit the museum, pedestal or climb the 354 steps to the statue’s crown, you’ll need to make a reservation before you go as the National Park Service “strongly recommends” making advanced ticket reservations to “allow visitors to secure their desired level of access and also eliminate the need to wait in line” to buy tickets. Crown tickets can only be purchased by advanced reservation.
Subject to weather conditions, Liberty Island is open to visitors every day except December 25th.
For more info and to purchase tickets, go to nps.gov/stli.