Shedding Light on Lady Liberty
─Adam Nelson & Ben Bousada
The Statue of Liberty is one of America's most well-known landmarks. But for something so famous, there is a lot about it that most people don't know.
A gift from France to America, Liberty Enlightening the World—the true name of the statue—was originally brown when it was finished in 1886. However, over time, the statue's copper body slowly turned green from reacting with the oxygen in the air.
Because the statue represents America, it's a happy fact that it was directly funded by Americans. Early on, there was much worry that the statue's base would never get built due to a lack of funds. Eventually, Americans took it upon themselves to contribute money, leading to the base's construction. In the 1980s, direct public funding was again used to pay for the statue's much-needed repairs.
Although it is a statue of a woman, the Statue of Liberty was an ironic sight to women's rights groups. After all, in the 19th century, American women didn't have the liberty to vote. In fact, no American women were invited to the statue's dedication; however, speeches calling for women's right to vote were blasted from a boat just outside the event.