"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," reads the iconic poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty. For generations, the gift from France to the United States has served as a beacon of hope for those in desperate need of a better life. Everyone's familiar with the magnificent statue's torch and her commanding spiked crown, but there's a whole lot more going on with Lady Liberty's design than people realize.
Lady Liberty's gaze
Look at Lady Liberty gazing out over the New York Bay, holding her flame up high to signify hopeful light at the end of the long tunnel of life. A lot of people visit every year to bask in her patriotic glory — over 4 million per year. And yet most of them miss some key details.
Inside and out
Granted, there's a lot of the monument to take in, both inside and outside, from her head to her feet. While Lady Liberty is quintessentially American, it was a Frenchman who first envisioned her, and he had big plans for what this statue could represent to the broader world.
The Frenchman's idea
Scholar and poet Édouard de Laboulaye first came up with the idea in 1865 to celebrate the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the United States' independence. Being a man of the written word, he lacked the design experience the project would need, but luckily a famous sculptor stepped in.
Putting the idea into action
French artist Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi caught wind of Laboulaye's idea, and he loved it so much he dedicated his time to making it a reality. However, even he needed assistance figuring out how to make the 300-foot copper statue stable.