TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s been 136 years since one of our nation’s most famous landmarks arrived in the United States.
Thursday marks 136 years since the arrival of the Statue of Liberty. The copper and iron statue was a gift from France to the United States to celebrate the friendship between the two countries.
According to History.com, Lady Liberty arrived in the New York Harbor on June 17, 1885 in 350 pieces that were packed into more than 200 cases. The statue was reassembled the year after its arrival and was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland on Oct. 28, 1886.
The “Liberty Enlightening the World” Statue has since become a symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation says that “with the placing of ‘The New Colossus’ on a plaque in the pedestal in 1903, Lady Liberty’s significance grew as an inspiration to immigrants who sailed past her on their way to America.”
In the 1980s, the National Park Service and the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation began restoration on the statue to replace iron armature bars with stainless steel. They also constructed a new torch.
After the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York City, the Statue of Liberty was closed for 100 days, according to the NPS. Liberty Island reopened in December of 2001, but the inside of the monument remained closed until August of 2004. The Statue of Liberty’s crown reopened to the public for the first time since the attacks in 2009.
The Statue of Liberty closed for more renovations in 2011. It reopened on Oct. 28, 2012, but was shut down the following day due to flooding from Hurricane Sandy. The statue and Liberty Island reopened on July 4, 2013.
As the coronavirus pandemic raged in New York in 2020, the National Park Service suspended operations at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to keep people safe. The statue shut down on Monday, March 16. Phased reopening of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty Museum started in summer of 2020.