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1.3.6 Statue of Liberty, Bedloe's Island, New York Bay

Bartholdi, Frederic Auguste
circa 1936

Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, circa 1936. Education Dept. Division of Visual Instruction. Instructional lantern slides, ca. 1856 – 1939, New York State Archives, New York.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from the people of France. Lady Liberty, as she is sometimes called, is a symbol of freedom and democracy to all Americans. The statue was often the first thing that immigrants would see when traveling to the United States in the early 1900s. Why do you think this symbol is important to Americans? What are some of the similarities and differences between the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco?    
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 and stands in New York Harbor. In her right hand Lady Liberty holds a torch, and in her left hand she holds a tablet representing the laws of the land. The date of the Declaration of Independence is written on the tablet. Emma Lazarus’s epic poem The Great Colossus is written at the base of the statue. Students may wish to make literal and abstract observations about the appearance of the Statue of Liberty. Teachers may wish to point out on a map where the statue is located to orient California students to the East Coast. Students may want to engage in a discussion that compares the Statue of Liberty to the Golden Gate Bridge. They can discuss differences in the structures and the similarities in how we understand the symbolism of welcoming immigrants. The bolded vocabulary words that students can note in the image are: freedom, democracy, immigrants.