Liberty Enlightening the World

Nine Statue of Liberty facts worth sharing

This week, we turn our attention to the Statue of Liberty, whose visage graces the catalog’s cover. Here are some fun facts that are sure to bring a smile to your face.

  1. According to legend, The Statue of Liberty’s face is modeled after sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi’s mother, Charlotte.
  2. Lady Liberty’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World, translated from the French La Liberté éclairant le monde.
  3. France gave The Statue of Liberty to the United States in 1886, having previously collaborated on the gift after the 1876 centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.
  4. Edouard de Laboulaye developed the idea of The Statue of Liberty as a gift, citing the Union victory in the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery as further causes for celebration.
  5. Always fashionable, Lady Liberty wears a size 879 shoe, and boasts a modest 35-foot waistline.
  6. Despite portraying herself convincingly in the films “The Planet of the Apes,” “Independence Day,” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” Lady Liberty has yet to receive an Oscar nomination.
  7. When first erected in 1886, The Statue of Liberty was the tallest iron structure ever built — another on the list of Gustave Eiffel’s personal achievements (the Eiffel Tower creator designed the Statue of Liberty’s spine).
  8. For the average American, the odds of being struck by lightning once in a year are about one in 700,000. The odds of the same person being struck twice are about one in 490 billion. Poor Lady Liberty is struck by lightning an average of 600 times per year, which is why we recommend against holding a gold-plated copper torch while standing in the middle of Upper New York Bay during stormy weather.
  9. Emma Lazarus penned the poem, “The New Colossus” about The Statue of Liberty in 1883. In 1903, the poem was engraved onto a bronze plaque that was placed inside the lower center of the statue.

The New Colossus

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "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!"


Hungry for more?

Check out the 2-minute video below from The History Channel.

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