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Statue of Liberty by Moonlight, New York City, c. 1900

New York City. Statue of Liberty by Moonlight.
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_D47_NE5
 
Document Description
Statue of Liberty at night, circa 1900.
 
Questions
Why was it significant that the Statue of Liberty was located near Ellis Island?
What do you think the Statue of Liberty meant to people going to Ellis Island?
Why was the Statue of Liberty placed in New York Harbor? 
Where would you put the statue?
If you wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty, what form of transportation would you take?
Tours to the Statue of Liberty leave from two states.  Which two states are they?
 
Historical Challenges
When and why was the eleven-pointed star beneath the Statue of Liberty constructed?
What changes have been made to the Statue of Liberty since it was erected?
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: The Statue of Liberty is over 150 feet tall and stands on top of a pedestal that is 154 feet high. How tall are the statue and pedestal combined?
Science: Why is the Statue of Liberty green?
English Language Arts: What famous poem was written about the Statue of Liberty?
English Language Arts: A huge fund-raising campaign in the United States raised a large sum of money for the construction of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. Write a persuasive article convincing Americans to donate to the Statue of Liberty.
 
Resources
Curlee, Lynn. Liberty. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2000. ISBN: 0689828233
Landau, Elaine. The Statue of Liberty. New York: Children's Press, 2004. ISBN: 0516242334
Lewison, Wendy Cheyette. L Is for Liberty. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 2003. ISBN: 0448432285
Maestro, Betsy. The Story of the Statue of Liberty. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Stoddard, 1986. ISBN: 0688057748, 068805773X
Quiri, Patricia Ryon. The Statue of Liberty. New York: Children's Press, 1998. ISBN: 0516206281
Shea, Pegi Deitz. Liberty Rising: The Story of the Statue of Liberty. New York: H. Holt, 2005. ISBN: 0805072209
 

Historical Context
The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from France in 1884 in honor of the two countries' ongoing friendship since the American Revolution. Designed by sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the statue was intended to be a gift for America's centennial in 1876. However, this giant statue was not completed until 1884.  Then it had to be shipped from France to the United States, which required disassembling the statue into 350 pieces.  When the pieces of the statue arrived in New York Harbor in June 1885, the pedestal for the statue, which was constructed in the United States, still wasn't finished.  After the pedestal was completed in April 1886, the statue was reassembled on the pedestal.  Finally, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886.  

The Statue of Liberty has greeted millions of immigrants and visitors to the United States for well over 100 years.  For visitors and Americans alike, seeing the statue for the first time can be an emotional experience.  The statue is an awe-inspiring sight because of its size, beauty, and especially because of what it represents.  As a whole, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom and democracy.  The separate parts of the statue also have meaning.  For example, the seven rays on the crown represent the seven continents and seven seas, the tablet in the statue's left hand reads (in Roman numerals) "July 4th, 1776," and a broken shackle lies at the feet of the statue. 

 
Essential Question
Why do people immigrate to a new country?
 
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain why the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of hope for immigrants to the United States.