Liberty Island

Saturday, 14 December 2013 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Statue of Liberty © flickr.com - Koshy Koshy/cc-by-2.0

Statue of Liberty © flickr.com – Koshy Koshy/cc-by-2.0

Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the start of the 20th century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the Statue of Liberty National Monument to include all of Bedloe’s Island, and in 1956, an act of Congress officially renamed it. It became part of the National Register of Historic Places site Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island in 1966. The island was closed to the public after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 until reopening on July 4, 2013.

At the time of European colonialization of the Hudson River estuary in the 17th century, much of the west side Upper New York Bay contained large tidal flats which hosted vast oyster beds, a major source of food for the Lenape people who lived there at the time. There were several islands which were not completely submerged at high tide. Three of them (later to be known as Liberty, Ellis, and Black Tom) were given the name Oyster Islands (oester eilanden) by the settlers of New Netherland, the first European colony in the Mid-Atlantic states. The oyster beds would remain a major source of food for nearly three centuries. Landfilling after the start of the 20th century, particularly by Lehigh Valley Railroad and Central Railroad of New Jersey, eventually obliterated the beds, engulfed one island and brought the shoreline much closer to the others.

Statue of Liberty © flickr.com - Ludovic Bertron/cc-by-2.0 Statue of Liberty and Manhattan © Kligon5/cc-by-sa-3.0 Liberty Island © Sidvics/cc-by-sa-3.0 Air Force One over Liberty Island © U.S. Air Force Statue of Liberty © flickr.com - Koshy Koshy/cc-by-2.0
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Statue of Liberty © flickr.com - Ludovic Bertron/cc-by-2.0
Liberty Island has been owned by the federal government since 1801, first as military installation and now as a national landmark. The Statue of Liberty itself is claimed as a symbol by both New York and New Jersey. It was featured on New York license plates from 1986 through 2000 and on a special New Jersey license plate celebrating Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The Statue is also seen on the New York State Quarter.

The national monument is a gift from the people of France to mark the American Centennial. It was agreed that the Congress would authorize the acceptance of the statue by the President of the United States, and that the War Department would facilitate construction and presentation. The construction of the statue was completed in France in July 1884. The cornerstone was laid on August 5, 1884, and after some funding delays, construction of the pedestal was finished on April 22, 1886. The statue arrived in New York Harbor on June 17, 1885, on board the French frigate Isère, was stored for eleven months in crates waiting for its pedestal to be finished, and was then reassembled in four months. On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was unveiled by President Grover Cleveland.

Read more onNational Park Service – Statue of Liberty, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Statue Cruises, Liberty Landing Ferry Service, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and Wikipedia Liberty Island. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.






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