One of the most iconic symbols of the United States is the Statue of Liberty. What was first a gift from the French in 1886, has become a sought-out tourist attraction by people from all over the world. Over the 130 years that Lady Liberty has undergone many changes and experienced many things. the following are 8 facts about the Statue of Liberty that you may have not known.
1. Liberty Island was once a home.
David Luchsinger, a National Park Ranger, and his wife lived on Liberty Island up Hurricanericane Sand hit in 2012. As the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty, Luchsinger was provided housing and lived in a small brick house on one side of the island. However, when the hurricane hit in 2012, it swept away most of the house and was not rebuilt.
2. Tourists were once allowed to climb to the top of the torch.
Up until 1916, any visitor could climb to the very top of the Statue of Liberty. Privileges were revoked in response to the Black Tom incident when Liberty Island was invaded by an explosion that measured 5.5 on the Ritcher scale. Due to the damage from the blast, the torch was closed to the public and has stayed closed since. However, you can still check out the view through a torch cam that was installed in 2011.
3. The spikes on Lady Liberty’s head are actually not part of her crown.
It is a common misconception that the seven spikes are apart of the statue’s crown. The spikes are actually supposed to be a halo. The seven spikes of the halo represent both the seven seas and continents.
4. The Stature of Liberty was supposed to have a sister.
Frédéric Bartholdi, the sculptor behind the Statue of Liberty has had plans on making a sister statue located in Egypt. Bartholdi envisioned a large woman carrying a lantern at the front of the Suez Canal. The installation was going to be called “Egypt Carrying Light to Asia,” but ultimately the project was determined to be too costly for the Egyptian khedive.
5. The statue has many nicknames.
The Statue of Liberty is actually a nickname. Bartholdi originally named the statue, “Liberty Enlightening the World.” The name did not catch on and instead, the public created many nicknames such. A few of the most popular nicknames include America’s Freedom, America’s Great Lady, Bartholdi’s Daughter, Giant Goddess, Grande Dame, Lady of the Harbor, Mother of Freedom, Saint Liberty, and the Spirit of American Independence.