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Facts about the statue of liberty for kids

  • The Statue of Liberty is an iconic statue in New York Harbor, in the United States. The statue has become a world-wide symbol of freedom, democracy and opportunity.
  • The Statue was designed by Gustave Eiffel. He won in a competition held in Paris to decide who would design the structure. Upon completion in 1886, it was given to the United States by France as a gift for helping them gain independence from imperial rule.
  • There are over 10 million letters that are carved into the statue’s base that form “LIBERTY.” These are lit up at night when there is no maintenance being done on them.
  • The Statue of Liberty is over 305 feet tall. It is almost twice the height of the former World Trade Center towers.
  • The Statue of Liberty weighs 225 tons. That is approximately the weight of 100 elephants. It was constructed from 350,000 pounds of copper and bronze, as well as 2,500 tons of steel.
  • Gustave Eiffel also designed a framework that would allow for a walkway up to the crown on his Statue of Liberty. However, this has never been open to the public due to safety concerns over high winds and earthquakes. There have been a few incidents where people have gone up there anyway, but they were later caught by police quickly.
  • The Statue of Liberty was originally intended to be called the “Statue of Free Labor” because it was financed by donations from the American public. That name was changed to the “Statue of Liberty” in 1884.
  • The Statue of Liberty is made almost entirely out of copper. Its base weighs 2,000 tons and its shafts are made out of solid copper that is 396 feet long. Together, these support about 10 million pounds!
  • It took seven years for Eiffel to design his very unique Statue. During his years designing it, he went through over ten thousand designs before finally deciding on the final one.
  • The Statue of Liberty is actually an embodiment of a Roman Goddess, Libertas. During the 19th century, she was a very famous symbol of freedom. In the United States, for example, her image appeared on coins as well as on many statues all across the country.
  • The Statue of Liberty can be found in an area called “Liberty Island.” This is actually a man-made island that was constructed to help support and house the Statue. It took about 15 years to build and had cost $500,000 at the time. This money was raised by over 150,000 American citizens that were involved with collecting donations for it.
  • In addition to being a symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty was also a lighthouse. Its torch, which is located on top of the statue’s crown, is also a large light that could be seen from 15-miles away.
  • The torch has three parts to it, including the flame and two different mirrors. These mirrors bounce beams of light off each other and then down into the Statue’s interior rooms. Over 4 million candlepower worth of light could be produced from these combined lights.
  • Gustave Eiffel didn’t think that his design would actually stand up very well in high winds or earthquakes. As a result, he decided to make his design out of incredibly strong, thick steel. This allowed him to create a very stable structure that was resistant to such natural causes of destruction.
  • Gustave Eiffel’s Statue of Liberty is actually one of two statues that he has designed. He also designed the Elephant de la Jasseur in Paris. It was constructed in 1889 and is still standing today, although it is no longer accessible by visitors.