40 Fun Facts About The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Margaret and I visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island early in the 1990s. Both are something every American should see at some time in their lives, especially if you live in the Northeast. Here are some fun facts about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

20 Facts About The Statue of Liberty


1 - Lady Liberty was a gift from France in 1886 to celebrate the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence

2 - She was sculpted by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.

3 - The framework was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the very same designer for the Eiffel Tower.

4 - She is based on Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty, holding a torch in the right hand and a tablet in the left (inscribed with July IV MDCCLXXVI).

5 - She is constructed from copper, wrought iron, and steel.

6 - The seven spikes in the crown represent the 7 seas and 7 continents of the world.

7 - The chains at her feet represent complete victory over tyranny.

8 - The torch represents liberty and enlightenment.

9 - Her official name is "Liberty Enlightening the World."

10 - She was shipped overseas to New York in 350 pieces.

11 - It took 4 months to put her together once she arrived in America.


12 - Opened in October 28,1886.

13 - Became a National Monument in 1924.

14 - She stands 151 feet tall, 305 feet from the ground to the torch.

15 - The original torch was replaced in 1984, with a new copper torch. It is covered in 24k gold leaf.

16 - She weighs 450,000 pounds.

17 - She was originally brown/copper and has taken 30 years of exposure to turn her green color.

18 - There are 377 steps to the crown, after the latest renovation to make the steps less steep and more safe.

****Note - you must make reservations to climb Lady Liberty since only 240 are allowed to climb at a time

Visiting the Crown National Park Service - http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/visit-the-crown.htm
Statue of Liberty Crown - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrefiD91sFs

19 - Has nearly 3.5million visitors per year

20 - She has been featured in many movies including Planet of the Apes, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Team America, Splash, An American Tail, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, X-Men.

Statue of Liberty NYC - http://www.nyctourist.com/liberty1.htm

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/

What "Lady Liberty" and Ellis Island Mean Today - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGkqh-iwS28


20 Facts About Ellis Island

1 - The island was bought by Sam Ellis during the American Revolution. He opened a small tavern there.

2 - During the War of 1812, Ellis Island was a fort and POW camp.

3 - During the Civil War, it was an ammunition supply depot.

4 - New York and New Jersey each own different portions of Ellis Island.

5 - The Ellis Island Immigration Station opened on January 1, 1892. Immigrants passing through the island numbered 700 that day. Twelve million people passed through over the next 50 years.

6 - Annie Moore from County Cork, Ireland was the first person to arrive at the Ellis Island. She was 15. She and her 2 brothers joined their parents, already in New York.

7 - Around 40 percent of U.S. citizens have a relative that passed through Ellis Island

8 - Immigrants fled to America due to war, drought, famine, and religious persecution in their homelands.

9 - Immigrants were from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Greece, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and many more.

10 - The journey across the Atlantic took approximately 2 weeks.


11 - New immigrants stood in long lines to pass medical and legal inspections. Each person had to answer 29 questions.

12 - About 80 percent were admitted without any problems, but some could be held for weeks.

13 - It was called the "Island of Tears," but only 2 percent of the immigrants were turned away, usually because they had a contagious disease or could not support themselves.

14 - Immigrants needed at least $18 so they could take care of themselves while they settled in the U.S.

15 - Some famous people traveled through Ellis Island:

Israel Beilin, who was composer Irving Berlin
Angelo Siciliano - body builder Charles Atlas
Lily Chaucoin - Actress Claudette Colbert
Also Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud
Charlie Chaplin

Famous Ellis Island Immigrants - http://teachersites.schoolworld.com/webpages/GHurst/files/famous%20ellis%20island%20immigrants.pdf

16 - In the 1800's, pirates were hung at Ellis Island

17 - In 1921, The Immigrant Quota Act, and in 1924, The National Origins Act, limited immigration. 1900-1914 were the peak years of Ellis Island with 5,000-10,000 people going through every day.

18 - Ellis Island officially closed on November 12, 1954.

19 - Ellis Island was declared a national monument by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965.

20 - In 1976, Ellis Island was opened to the public. Today, you can visit the Immigration Museum and search for your ancestors in the immigrant arrival records, released to the public in 2001.


Ellis Island - History of Immigration to the United States - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X4CypTaOQs

Face of America: The Ellis Island Immigration Museum - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-6r5D7Samg

If you have visited Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, tell us about your experience or leave some helpful tips for those planning a trip.

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