In 1964, American author and biochemist, Isaac Asimov published an
The Statue of Liberty is the epitome of freedom for Americans and visitors alike. Here are 17 facts and statistics about Lady Liberty.
1. The statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World.
2. Lady Liberty was a gift from France to America in 1886. Created by Edourd de Laboulaye of France, the giant statue honors the friendship and the commitment to liberty between France and the United States.
3. The Statue of Liberty was not shipped in one piece. She was dismantled into 350 pieces and rebuild when she arrived in America.
4. At the time the statue was first erected in 1886, it was the tallest iron structure ever built.
5. Before the statue arrived in America, the head was displayed at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1878.
6. Lady Liberty herself is a representation of the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas.
7. The 4 million yearly visitors have to climb 354 stairs to reach the statue’s crown where they can enjoy the view from 25 windows.
8. The 7 spikes on her crown actually represent seven continents of the world and the seven oceans.
9. The statue is green from damage. Her exterior is copper that has turned colors due to oxidation. But the patina (green coating) serves as protection from further corrosion.
10. Gustave Eiffel, (you guessed it), was also part of the design for Liberty’s spine. 4 iron columns support a metal framework, holding the copper skin – which is just 3/32ths of an inch thick.
11. Rumor has it that the statue’s face was modeled after the sculptor’s mother, Charlotte.
12. The statue’s torch is worth a lot more since its replacement in 1984. The original torch was swapped out for new copper torch covered in 24k gold leaf.
13. In 1885, a New York newspaper, World announced that $102,000 had been raised from contributions from both the French and the Americans. 80% of that total was donated in sums of less than one dollar.
14. Lady Liberty is no waif. She weighs 204 metric tons and measures 93 meters from the ground to the top of her torch. She wears a size 879 shoe and has a 35-foot waistline.
15. New York and Boston’s feud go way back. Boston vied for possession the statue while fundraising efforts stalled in N.Y. In retaliation, the New York Times had a few choice words for the populace of Boston:
“[Boston] proposes to take our neglected statue of Liberty and warm it over for her own use and glory. Boston has probably again overestimated her powers. This statue is dear to us, though we have never looked upon it, and no third rate town is going to step in and take it from us. Philadelphia tried to do that in 1876 and failed. Let Boston be warned . . . that she can’t have our Liberty … that great lighthouse statue will be smashed into … fragments before it shall be stuck up in Boston Harbor.”
16. It is thought that Lady Liberty is hit by approximately 600 bolts of lightning every year since she was built. For the first time in 2010, a photographer captured the event on film.
17. Two people have successfully committed suicide by jumping off the statue, one in 1929, and the other in 1932. There have been many others who have jumped but survived.