The Statue of Liberty, one of America’s most significant historical emblems hasn’t been without its fair share of misconceptions, myths, and false folklores. Ever since it was dedicated in 1886, the monument stands as a beacon of hope, pride and prestige to many Native Americans and the millions upon millions who have sought refuge in the Land of Plenty. In fact, nothing epitomizes the phrase, ” America’s no man’s land” like this statue. Sculpted in France and erected off the coast of New York, the Statue of Liberty is easily one of biggest indications that America is a melting pot of culture, art, and religion.
Nonetheless, the history of this statue has been equally ambiguous and obscure. Partly because it has survived more than four generations of modern-day Americans who may have passed stories of the great statue to their kids, who in turn did the same to theirs. Somewhere along the way the facts changed – some were cooked up while others were omitted. Today we seek to clarify some of these myths, at least for the sake of our future generations.
while this is practically true, ( the viewing part), it is not possible nowadays to access the interior of the statue let alone climb to her crown. The interior of the Statue has been closed to the public for several years now, ( since September 9, 2001) although the pedestal and the museum are always open. However, you can view the inside architecture through a glass ceiling but the elevators to the top are only reserved for staff use.
19.The statue was crafted by the founding fathers of the nation. Lady Liberty was a gift from France to the people of New York and has no connection whatsoever with the founding fathers. It was designed and sculpted by a French artist, one Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, as a female personification of America’s sovereignty and willingness to welcome immigrants fleeing from persecution and those in search of greener pastures.
18.Pennies collected from New York’s schoolchildren were used to pay for the erection of the Statue of Liberty. 95% of the money used to install the 154-foot pedestal that the Statue rests upon was sourced from wealthy donors. There’s no record of school going children contributing towards the erection of Lady Liberty.
17.The Statue is a visual semblance of an ancient Roman goddess. Lady Liberty was granted as a representation of America’s standpoint in freedom and human rights in a tumultuous era of slavery and religious persecution.
16.120 years ago, New Yorkers used to pay religious homage to Lady Liberty and saw her as a small deity. Lady Liberty has never been a religious icon to the people living in New York harbor.
15.Miss Liberty was initially intended to be an African-American woman. Auguste’s statue portrayal of a Nubian woman was never built, although he had already sketched its blueprints. Lady liberty was never intended to be a representation of a black woman for whatever reason. In fact, there’s isn’t any reference to the color of her skin.
14.Lady Liberty was erected as a celebration of the end of the slavery era in America. The statue of Liberty was a gift of good will from the French nation to the United States as an insignia of freedom and democracy.
13.The Statue of Liberty was sculpted and erected as a show of defiance against Napoleon III rule in France. Another misconstrued annotation. Nonetheless, one of the significant personas behind the existence of the Liberty today ( Edouard de Laboulaye) had hoped that it would be an inspiration for the people of France to rise against the oppressive Napolean Monarchy.
12.The statue was originally entirely made of steel, wrought iron, and copper. Although Lady Liberty stands largely as a metallic statue, Auguste Bartholdi had initially used asbestos in the construction of the monument as an insulator. The asbestos was removed years after its erection.
11.The statue was painted green as a decorative enhancement. The original color of the statue was that of a shiny penny, and it took over 20 years to acquire that emerald-green hue it now has. No one painted it.
10.The legendary Edouard de Laboulaye made the statue.Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, a lowly French sculptor, built it. However, it was Edouard who inspired him with the idea of the sculpture.
9.Gustave Eiffel, the celebrated artist behind Eiffel’s tower in Paris designed the Statue of Liberty. Gustave only provided part of the design required to build Miss Liberty’s spine. More than 88% of the work and design of the Liberty was done by Frederic-Auguste.
8.The statue was to designated to be erected in Boston or Philadelphia. The people and Philadelphia and Boston only offered to help the statue in return that it is built in their hometown. The statue was originally a gift to New Yorkers.
7.A French philosopher wrote the words engraved on the footstool of the Statue of Liberty. An American poet, Emma Lazarus coined this sonnet that summarizes the idea behind the statue.
6.The Statue of Liberty of named after the Liberty Island. False. The island on which the Statue of Liberty stands was initially known as Beldoe Island and was renamed to Liberty in 1956.
5.The Statue erected to act as a lighthouse for the accident-prone New York harbor. Between 1886 and 1902, the statue functioned as a lighthouse, although, it wasn’t intended to be one originally.
4.The Statue’s torch, which is made of copper and covered in 24K gold was part of Ronald Reagan’s presidential legacy. Although Lady Liberty’s new torch was replaced in Reagan’s tenure in 1986, it wasn’t part of his legacy, nor was he directly involved in its replacement.
3.Lady Liberty is hit with more than 1000 bolts of lightning per year. If that were the case, she wouldn’t be standing today. Lady Liberty, like most other tall metallic structures, is fitted with lightning arrestors that efficiently neutralizes lightning bolts by providing a non-resistive path to the earth.
2. People who try to commit suicide by jumping off the liberty cannot die as she is the symbol of hope. Although many have survived a suicidal jump from Lady Liberty’s crown, two have died an agonizing death after attempting the same.
Useful tips for first-time visitors of the Statue of Liberty.
a. Book your pedestal tickets three months prior to the visit. The statue is America’s most visited monument, averaging a total of 6 million tourists in 2014 alone. Tickets are typically sold out three months before each opening.
b. Arrive early ( preferably before 9.am) as the lines of tourists waiting to be cleared to view the Statue can get very long and arduous.