42. The Statue of Liberty
One of the most famous statues in the
world stands on an island in New York Harbor. This statue is, of course, the
Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is a woman who holds a torch up high.
Visitors can go inside the statue. The statue is so large that as many as
twelve people can stand inside the torch. Many more people can stand in other
parts of the statue. The statue weighs 225 tons and is 301 feet tall.
The Statue of Liberty was put up in
1886. It was a gift to the United States from the people of France. Over the
years France and the United States had a special relationship. In 1776 France
helped the American colonies gain independence from England. The French wanted
to do something special for the U.S. centennial its l00th birthday.
Laboulaye was a well-known Frenchman
who admired the United States. One night at a dinner in his house, Labouraye
talked about the idea of a gift. Among Laboulaye's guests was the French
sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. Bartholdi thought of a statue of liberty.
He offered to design the statue.
Many people contributed in some way.
The French people gave money for the statue Americans designed and built the
pedestal for the statue to stand on. The American people raised money to pay
for the pedestal. The French engineer Alexander Eiffel, who was famous for his
Eiffel Tower in Paris, figured out how to make the heavy statue stand.
In the years after the statue was put
up, many immigrants came to the United States through New York. As they entered
New York Harbor, they saw the Statue of Liberty holding up her torch. She
symbolized a welcome to a land of freedom.