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In Brief

Happy Birthday, Statue of Liberty!

21 October 2011

Detail from photo of Statue of Liberty (AP Images)

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France. She was dedicated in 1886 in New York, and she is celebrating her 125th birthday on October 28.

The Statue of Liberty is having a birthday extravaganza on October 28, the 125th anniversary of her dedication. The 93-meter-high copper beauty will celebrate with a flotilla of ships, a naturalization ceremony, a cake, musical performances, readings, speeches and fireworks.

Shown above, the statue stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, with Ellis Island in the background. Her green color is caused by a chemical reaction called patination.

The statue was a gift from the people of France. Completed in France in 1884, it was disassembled, shipped to New York, and reassembled. On October 28, 1886, the statue was dedicated as thousands cheered. The Statue of Liberty welcomed more than 12 million immigrants who entered the United States through Ellis Island (1892–1954), and she remains a symbol of values such as freedom, democracy, opportunity and human rights.

In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. UNESCO describes her as “a masterpiece of the human spirit … a technological wonder that brings together art and engineering in a new and powerful way.”

For more information, see the National Park Service’s Statue of Liberty website. Starting October 29, the inside of the statue will be closed for a year for renovations. However, Liberty Island will remain open to visitors.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)