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Ten Fun Facts About the Statue of Liberty

Liberty Island reopens this summer after being hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. As you plan your trip, brush up on your Lady Liberty trivia:

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Everyone knows a little bit about the Statue of Liberty. For one, it’s the most iconic symbol of New York, a gift from the French people which depicts the Roman goddess Libertas. In the last 12 years, the statue has been closed quite a bit for various reasons (after the Sept. 11 attacks the statue was closed until 2009 for security reasons; the addition of an internal stairway closed Lady Liberty for most of 2012, and then Hurricane Sandy shut down the entire island in October of 2012). Here are some fun facts about the most famous statue in the world!

Statue of Liberty View New York | WhereTraveler
Statue of Liberty View (©Marcus Chis)

Fact #1: How close have you really looked at Lady Liberty? Chains and a broken shackle lie at this grand lady’s feet, which symbolize the statue as a woman who is free from servitude and oppression.

Fact #2: Don’t worry about those few extra pounds you may have put on recently. Our statue stands proud of her 35-foot waistline and 450,000-pound build!

Fact #3: This woman is strong: In 1916, German saboteurs exploded a cache of dynamite on a nearby wharf. Although the explosion popped some bolts in the statue’s arm, it did no serious damage. 

Statue of Liberty Close-Up View New York | WhereTraveler
Statue of Liberty Close-Up View (©Jeff Burak)

Fact #4: The statue’s face is based on the face of sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s mother.

Fact #5: The tablet held in Lady Liberty’s left hand is inscribed with the date JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776).

Fact #6: Watch out for windy days, lady: winds of 50 miles per hour or more can cause the statue to sway up to three inches, and the torch up to six inches. 

Statue of Liberty Angle From Below New York | WhereTraveler
Statue of Liberty Angle From Below (©Juan Manuel Aguilar)

Fact #7: The crown of the statue holds 25 windows, which symbolizes gemstones.

Fact #8: This lady ain’t cheap. In 1876, the torch was the very first part of the statue to be built, and the torch was replaced in 1984 by a new copper assembly that is covered in thin sheets of 24 karat gold leaf.

Fact #9: Before Liberty Island had its name, it was called Bedloe’s Island, located next to Ellis Island in New York City harbor.

Fact #10: The seven rays on the crown of Lady Liberty stand for each of our seven continents. 

Statue of Liberty From the Water New York | WhereTraveler
Statue of Liberty From the Water (©Priyanka Puvvada)