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THIS IS AMERICA - Statue of Liberty

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VOICE ONE:

Wednesday, July Fourth, is America's Independence Day holiday. A huge statue honoring freedom and liberty rises ninety-three meters at the entrance to New York Harbor. I'm Sarah Long.

Graphic Image
Graphic Image

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Shirley Griffith. The story of the Statue of Liberty is our report today on the VOA Special English program, THIS IS AMERICA.

((MUSIC BRIDGE: LIBERTY FANFARE))

VOICE ONE:

Americans like to say the Statue of Liberty is in good condition for a woman of her age. She is more than one-hundred-years old. France gave the statue to the United States in Eighteen-Eighty-Four.

For more than thirty years the statue welcomed millions of foreign people arriving by ship to live in the United States. Today more than two-million people visit the statue every year. The Statue of Liberty has become a representation of freedom for people everywhere.

The full name of the statue is "Liberty Enlightening the World." It stands on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay, about two-and-one-half kilometers from Manhattan Island. It was built in the nineteenth century. But it still remains the tallest metal statue in the world.

VOICE TWO:

The Statue of Liberty is mostly made of copper. Once it was a reddish-brown color. But time and weather have turned it green. The statue wears a loose robe. She raises her right arm high in the air. Her right hand holds a torch -- a golden light. Her left hand holds a tablet. It shows the date of the American Declaration of Independence – July Fourth, Seventeen-Seventy-Six. The statue wears a crown on her head. The crown has seven points. Each of these rays represents the light of freedom. This light shines on seven seas and seven continents. A chain representing oppression lies broken at her feet.

VOICE ONE:

Twelve-million immigrants from other countries passed the statue by ship between Eighteen-Ninety-Two and Nineteen Twenty-Four. Then they were taken to the immigration center on nearby Ellis Island. There they went through the processes necessary to live in the United States.

Many immigrants thought of the statue as a welcoming mother for refugees. Emma Lazarus expressed this idea in a poem in Eighteen-Eighty-Three. She called her poem "The New Colossus." She wrote:

"Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. "

((MUSIC BRIDGE))

VOICE TWO:

The people of France gave the Statue of Liberty to the United States in Eighteen-Eighty-Four. Their gift honored freedom. It also marked the friendship between the two nations. This friendship had developed during America's revolution against Britain. France helped the revolutionary armies defeat the soldiers of King George the Third. The war officially ended in Seventeen-Eighty-Three. A few years later, the French rebelled against their own king.

VOICE ONE:

A French historian and politician named Edouard-Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye started the idea for a statue. Mister Laboulaye was giving a party in his home near Versailles in Eighteen-Sixty-Five. This was the year the American Civil War ended. Slavery also ended in the United States. It was a time when Mister Laboulaye and others were struggling to make their own country democratic. France was suffering under the rule of Napoleon the Third.

Mister Laboulaye suggested that the French and Americans build a monument together to celebrate freedom.

VOICE TWO:

One of the guests at the party was a young sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. For years Mister Bartholdi had dreamed of creating a very large statue. By the end of the party he had been invited to create a statue of freedom for the United States.

Graphic Image
Graphic Image

Mister Bartholdi had never designed anything taller than four meters. But he planned this statue as the largest since ancient times. Its face would be the face of his mother, Auguste-Charlotte Bartholdi.

In Eighteen-Seventy-Five the French established an organization to raise money for Mister Bartholdi's creation.

VOICE ONE:

Two years later the Americans established a group to help pay for the pedestal. This structure would support the statue. American architect Richard Morris Hunt was chosen to design the pedestal. It would stand forty-seven meters high inside the walls of a fort. The fort had been built in the early Eighteen-Hundreds. It was designed in the shape of a star.

In France, Mister Bartholdi designed a small version of his statue. Then he built a series of larger copies.

Workers created wood forms covered with plaster for each main part. Then they placed three-hundred pieces of copper on the forms. The copper "skin" was less than three centimeters thick.

VOICE TWO:

Now the Statue of Liberty needed a structure that could hold its great weight. Engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel created this new technology. Later he would gain fame for building the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Mister Eiffel designed a support system for the Statue of Liberty. The system had an iron tower in its center. He decided that iron bars would connect the copper "skin" of the statue to this central tower. Mister Eiffel and his helpers worked on the design in Paris. It provided a strong support for the statue. It also permitted the statue to move a little in strong winds.

VOICE ONE:

France had hoped to give the statue to the United States on July Fourth, Eighteen-Seventy-Six. That was the one-hundredth anniversary of the signing of America's Declaration of Independence. But technical problems and lack of money delayed the project by eight years.

At last France presented the statue to the United States. The celebration took place in Paris on July Fourth, Eighteen-Eighty-Four. Americans started building the pedestal that same year. But they had to stop. People had not given enough money to finish the structure.A New York newspaper urged Americans to give more money for the pedestal. People reacted by giving one-hundred-thousand dollars.

VOICE TWO:

Now the huge statue had a pedestal to stand on. In France, the statue was taken apart for shipping to the United States. It was shipped in two-hundred-fourteen wooden boxes.

On October Twenty-Eighth, Eighteen-Eighty-Six, President Grover Cleveland officially accepted Liberty Enlightening the World. He said: "We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home." Mister Bartholdi and representatives of the French government attended the ceremony. People paraded through the streets of New York. Boats filled the harbor.

((MUSIC BRIDGE))

VOICE ONE:

Over the years Americans shortened the name of the statue. They called it the Statue of Liberty, or Miss Liberty. The statue continued to welcome many immigrants arriving by ship until Nineteen-Twenty-Four. That is when Ellis Island stopped much of its operation. The great wave of immigration to the United States was mostly over.

But millions of visitors kept coming to see the Statue of Liberty. By the Nineteen-Eighties, the statue badly needed repairs. Again people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean cooperated to raise money. Automobile manufacturer Lee Iacocca led the campaign in the United States. Big companies gave money for the repairs. So did school children. Fireworks lit the sky at the celebration for the restored Statue of Liberty on July Fourth, Nineteen-Eighty-Six.

VOICE TWO:

Thousands of people still visit the Statue of Liberty every day. They reach the statue by boat. Many people climb the three-hundred-fifty-four steps to the crown. Or they ride up to observation areas in an elevator. Or they study the story of the statue in a museum in the monument.

The famous poem by Emma Lazarus appears in the museum. The last part of the poem expresses the history of the Statue of Liberty. It says:

"Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.

"I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

((LIBERTY FANFARE INSTEAD OF THEME))

VOICE ONE:

This program was written by Jerilyn Watson. It was produced by George Grow. Our studio engineer was Keith Holmes. I'm Sarah Long.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Shirley Griffith. Join us again next week for another report about life in the United States on the VOA Special English program, THIS IS AMERICA.

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作者:Alumni
the Statue of Liberty was made by French sculptor, Bartholdi, and the face of the Statue of Liberty be the face of his mother, Auguste-Charlotte Bartholdi. and the Statue of Liberty rises ninety-three meters at the entrance to New York Habor.
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