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Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is in New York City, on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The Statue is seen by many people to be the symbol of freedom, and as a welcoming sign to immigrants who came to the United States looking for a better life. The Statue of Liberty is a woman, holding a torch high above her head in one hand and a tablet in the other that has the date July 4th 1776 written on it in Roman Numerals. She is wearing a robe and broken chains are around her feet. She is known as Lady Liberty.
In 1870, the French decided that they would pay for the statue if the Americans would build the base for the statue to stand on. The American government did not pay for the pedestal the state was supposed to stand on, so a couple of different fundraising events took place to make the money for it. 120,000 people donated, most of them giving less than 1 dollar per person.
Lady Liberty was built by a man named Gustave Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel tower in Paris, France. The Statue of Liberty came over to the United States in pieces. The head and the torch were finished first, and these two parts were shown in Philadelphia and other cities before being put together with the rest of the statue. She was unveiled and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland, who had been the governor of New York, in 1886.
The Statue of Liberty is made from copper. Because she is outside in the rain and snow, she has turned a minty green color, which is called oxidizing. It took 30 years for the outside of the statue to turn from dull brown to green. At first, the government thought that the oxidized green color was damaging the statue, so they were going to paint it. People were angry about the statue being painted, so scientists did some tests and discovered that the green color actually protected the statue. The amount of copper it took to create the Statue of Liberty could make 30 million pennies.
The statue has had some changes over the years to help keep it protected. One of the biggest changes was in 1984 when the original torch was removed and a new torch was added. The new torch is copper with gold to reflect the sun. Today, the United States government is building a new museum so that everyone can visit and learn about the Statue of Liberty and her history. You will also be able to see the original torch when the museum opens.