Lady Liberty turned 125 years old today, October 28, 2011. The 125th anniversary celebration included a cake that was a replica of the Statue of Liberty, key note speakers, 125 immigrants taking oath of citizenship, among many other activities and celebrations. Along with a salute from passing boats later this afternoon will be part of the celebration. There will be a firework show later this evening before closing the statue for repairs for a year which include a $27.25 million renovation that will improve the spiral stairway up into the crown and to add safety devices and other modern requirements to the Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty also got some upgrades for her birthday this year which included five web-cams mounted on the statue (click to see the EarthCam). One of those web cams on Lady Liberty is on the torch where only maintenance has been allowed since 1916 because of safety reasons.
The statue of Liberty weighs some 225 tons and was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi in 1884. She was given to the United States from France as a symbol of friendship and was inaugurated on October 28, 1886. The statue was shipped across the ocean in hundreds of pieces and in more than 200 crates to New York. What was supposed to be used as a lighthouse, turned into something more. The statue got nicknamed “Lady Liberty” while facing the water to greet immigrants coming into America for freedom.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said:
“Lady Liberty is an enduring symbol of freedom, tolerance and openness that represents our country’s highest ideals.”
During the 125th birthday celebration of Lady Liberty, actress Sigourney Weaver read the poem by Emma Lazarus that is mounted inside the statue out loud to the crowd.
Titled “The New Colossus,” with the most famous line, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and concludes, “I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Since the Statue of Liberty was given to the United States from France, both national US and French anthems were sang.
- Lady Liberty turns 125, gets high-tech gift (cbsnews.com)