50 Interesting Facts About The Statue Of Liberty

Last updated on October 10th, 2021

36. There is a tiny grammatical mistake on the plaque. Instead of the original line, “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”, the line appears as, “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!”

37. The Statue of Liberty features a tablet cradled in her left arm. On this tablet, the date July 4, 1776 is engraved. This is the day when the Declaration of Independence was adopted. The date is inscribed in Roman numerals.

Tablet -- Statue of Liberty
Tablet — Statue of Liberty. Facts about Statue of Liberty. Image credit – Ron Cogswell

38. Lady Liberty is actually a representation of the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas. Her impressive size was inspired by the massive Colossus of Rhodes, also known as the statue of Helios.

39. The Statue served as a beacon and welcoming landmark to millions of immigrants from 1892 until 1924. The Immigration Office was established at Ellis Island, which is just a mile from Liberty Island. About 12 million immigrants who entered the U.S. for the first time were welcomed by Lady Liberty as their ships entered New York Harbor.

40. If Egypt had accepted Bartholdi’s proposed structure, Lady Liberty would have been Egyptian instead of American. Her early incarnation was designed as a robed figure of a fellah, an Arabian peasant. The design evolved gradually to become a monumental goddess form holding a torch aloft.

41. On windy days when winds can reach 50mph, the Statue can sway as much as 3 inches in the direction of the wind. The torch moves a bit more – about 5 to 6 inches.

42. Near Lady Liberty’s feet are a broken chain and shackle which, according to the National Park Service, represents freedom from tyranny and servitude. These features may also be a way to honor the abolition of slavery.

Manhattan Skyline and The Statue of Liberty at Night, New York City.
Manhattan Skyline and The Statue of Liberty at Night, New York City. Image via shutterstock/Cincila

43. Sadly, Lady Liberty is not immune to vandal attacks. People who visit the Statue have been known to leave behind chewing gum and would even use lipstick to write their names on the interior.

44. The Statue has appeared in many films. Its earliest guesting was in Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 film, The Immigrant.

45. Bartholdi’s original vision for Liberty Island (then Bedloe’s Island) was for it to become some sort of park, complete with a casino, a park, and bands playing music.

46. There are 40 blank discs on the statue’s pedestal. When Batholdi was trying to raise funds for the stand, he proposed to have each state (there were 38 at the time) donate. The dics were supposed to contain the names of the states that gave support. Unfortunately, none gave any help, which is why the discs are blank to this day.

The statue of Liberty and Manhattan, New York City
The statue of Liberty and Manhattan, New York City. Image via shutterstock/spyarm

47. The Lady would have spoken, had Thomas Edison had his way. Edison wanted to install a large phonograph inside the statue with speakers that were loud enough to be heard as far as the northern part of Manhattan. He did not push through with his plan.

48. Lady Liberty is so popular that she has appeared in coins made in the U.S. and in other countries. Recently, she appeared in the 20-Euro coin commemorating the SMS Sankt Georg.

49. Although she is a star now, Lady Liberty quickly faded into near-oblivion after her grand opening. A mere six months after she was opened to the public, Americans quickly lost interest in her. She did later attracted more visitors and became the beloved icon she is today.

50. The first prank involving the Statue happened in 1979. Replica of the Statue’s head and torch-bearing arm were sunk in Lake Mendota. The lake was frozen, making it appear that the Statue was actually in the water.