“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – end of Emma Lazarus’ poem, “The New Colossus,” inscribed on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal.
The Statue of Liberty, one of America’s most symbolic treasures, is set to reopen Thursday for the first time since Superstorm Sandy caused damage to the island last October.
The statue had just reopened – after a year closed for renovations – the day before the storm battered Liberty Island, causing an estimated $59 million in damages, MSNBC reported.
With all the expected fanfare, tourists will once again be able to visit this iconic symbol of freedom as the country celebrates Independence Day.
The Telegraph published some interesting facts about our Lady Liberty:
The statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World.
It was a gift from France, given to America in 1886.
The head of the statue was displayed at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1878.
She holds a torch and tablet upon which is inscribed the date of American Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776).
The seven spikes on the crown represent the seven oceans and the seven continents of the world, indicating the universal concept of liberty.
The statue’s original torch was replaced in 1984 by a new copper torch covered in 24k gold leaf.
Although you cannot see Lady Liberty’s feet clearly she is in fact standing among a broken shackle and chains, with her right foot raised, depicting her moving forward away from oppression and slavery.
In high winds of 50mph Lady Liberty can sway by up to 3 inches, while her torch can move 5 inches.
Lady Liberty is thought to have been hit by around 600 bolts of lightning every year since she was built. A photographer captured this for the first time in 2010.
The statue functioned as a lighthouse for 16 years (1886-1902), lighting a distance of up to 24 miles away.
The statue will be celebrating its 127th birthday in October 2013
The statue sustained minor damage in 1916 when German saboteurs set off an explosion during World War One. The torch-bearing arm suffered the most damage, with repair works costing $100,000. The stairs in the torch were then closed to the public for safety reasons, and have remained closed ever since.
No-one has been able to visit the torch since.
The statue’s 300 copper pieces were transported to America in 214 crates on the French ship “Isere,” which almost sank in stormy seas.
Watch The Statue of Liberty’s top 10 movie appearances via YouTube here: