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A Look at Lady Liberty’s First 125 Years


For 125 years, the Statue of Liberty has stood in New York Harbor as an iconic greeting to arriving immigrants. Friday’s anniversary began with a naturalization ceremony for 125 new American citizens hailing from 46 countries.

In the video above, WNYC took a look at Lady Liberty’s present and past.

For this anniversary, the National Park Service added several live webcams to the statue’s accessories. Three cameras will provide panoramic, live views of the New York City skyline. The other two offer views of the torch and down inside the statue. Watch the view from the “Torch Cam.”

1870 | French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi begins designing sketchy figures of a “Liberty” monument

1876 | Bartholdi begins constructing the statue and completes the hand and torch.

Feb. 22,1877 | The U.S. Congress accepts the Statue of Liberty as a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States.

1884 | The statue is completed in Paris. The Statue in scaffolding in Paris, about halfway complete (Photo by NPS collection)

Oct. 28, 1886 | The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York City Harbor. Despite the rainy weather, 1 million New Yorkers attended the unveiling.

1903 | The poem “The New Collosus,” written by Emma Lazarus, a Jewish New Yorker of Portuguese descent, was engraved on a plaque and placed in the statue. WNET features a tribute to Lazarus.

The new torch is placed in Lady Liberty's hand in (From the NPS Collection)

1984-1986 | Extensive restoration by the National Park Service and the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation begins. Among the changes is the construction of a new torch covered with gold leaf.

Oct. 28, 2011 | Friday’s anniversary events will replicate the statue’s dedication 125 years ago.

Liberty's face on Liberty Island, waiting to be Installed (Photo by NPS collection)

All photos courtesy Nation Park Service

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