7 Odd Facts About Lady Liberty

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2009 4:36 AM CDT
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Lady Liberty.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The crown of the Statue of Liberty will be open for business again July 4, the first time since 9/11. NPR collected a few facts about Lady Liberty you might not know:

  • The 7 spikes: Liberty's crown does not symbolize the 7 continents or seas, as even the National Parks Service reports. They're sun rays, and the circle is a "nimbus."
  • She's so heavy: The statute is made of 31 tons of copper, 125 tons of steel, and the base consists of a whopping 27,000 tons of concrete.

  • No fire, please: The torch has been off limits since World War I, when German saboteurs set off an explosion nearby that sent shrapnel into it and the statue's skirt.
  • She dances: In high winds, the Lady sways 3 inches; the torch can move up to 5 inches.
  • Suicide: Three people have taken their own lives in plunges from the statue, the first in—you got it—1929.
  • Movie star: Aside from acting as Columbia's mascot, the statue has figured prominently in films from Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock.
  • Vandal magnet: The crown has attracted all manner of used chewing gum and lipstick graffiti.

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