On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty, France's gift of friendship to the American people, in New York Harbor. To mark the anniversary of one of America's most recognizable landmarks, try your luck with these trivia questions...
How Big is Lady Liberty’s Waistline? She would be a hard girl to fit a dress for since her waistline measures 35 feet across. The Statue of Liberty also measures 151 feet and 1 inch from the torch down to the base. From the base to the torch, she measures 305 feet, 1 inch, which is about the same height as Big Ben in London, England. Her head measures 10 feet across, her lips are 3 feet across and the nose is 4 ½ feet long. The sandals on her feet measure 25 feet long. If they were measured in human size, she would wear a women’s size 879 in shoes.
What Ship Transported the Pieces of the Statue of Liberty to the United States? The “Isere,” supplied by the government of France, transported the pieces, which were carefully marked for reassembly like a giant puzzle in 214 cases. The ship left the city of Rouen on May 21, 1885, and its arrival in New York Harbor was on June 17. It took about a year for the statue to be assembled. Three hundred thin copper sheets cover the statue and are riveted together. Because the sheets are copper, the statue has developed a green patina, a natural result of oxidation. The concrete foundation adds to its total weight by 54 million pounds. Her total weight is 225 tons.
What Is “The New Colossus”?
It’s the poem written by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed on a plaque located inside the monument. Lazarus wrote the poem in 1883 as part of an effort to raise money to build the pedestal intended to hold the statue. A fundraiser for the project, William Evarts, convinced Lazarus, a well-known poet of her day, that the statue would play a significant role in welcoming new immigrants to America.
Even though the statue was a gift from France, the money still had to be raised to construct the base for the statue. This was to be accomplished through donations. Other famous persons also donated writings to help raise money, including poet Walt Whitman and Mark Twain.
The sonnet Lazarus wrote was not mentioned during the dedication ceremony. It wasn’t even mentioned in her obituary when Lazarus died in 1887. It wasn’t until 1903 that the poem was rediscovered and added to the statue as a plaque. The 14-line sonnet is most famous for the end of the poem which says,
“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-tossed to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
What does the tablet in the Statue of Liberty’s hand read? The inscription on the tablet that the statue holds in her left hand refers to the day the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence. Written in Roman numerals, it says JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776).