Sunday, July 4, 2010

Some Assembly Required

I am in charge of the DVR at our house and I try to record TV shows that Randy may like to watch.  It wouldn't be nice to make him watch shows like Drop Dead Diva and Glee all the time.  Though he did  watch Bridezillas last night without too much complaint.

We actually have the same tastes when it comes to what we watch and we watch a lot of shows on the History Channel and on Discovery.  The only show that Randy likes that I don't really care for is Dirty Jobs.  I like the premise and I like Mike Rowe and his sense of humor, but some of the things they do are a bit too gross for me.

I am a girl, after all.

We started watching the series 'America, The Story of Us' which was on the History Channel earlier this spring.  The episode we watched this past week included a bit of history on the Statue of Liberty.

I knew that the Statue of Liberty was given to America by the French, and that it is on Ellis Island.  But I didn't know that Ellis Island is in both New York and in New Jersey.

Having a national monument appear as if it were growing out of my head does not make for good picture composition.  Randy.

Since I never stopped to think about it, I never realized what it took to erect her, so to speak.

  • The statue was shipped to America in 350 pieces, using 214 crates.
  • There were six other cities in the United State besides New York that wanted the statue.  
  • New York didn't have the money to build the pedestal, so Joseph Pulitzer raised money by asking for donations through his newspapers.  He received more than enough to pay for it.
  • Lack of money for France to build the statue was also a problem.  The money was eventually collected by public fees, admission to some entertainment venues and a lottery.
  • The pedestal that she stands on was the biggest concrete structure in the world 
  • Alexandre Gustave Eiffel designed the armature for the Statue of Liberty.  If you don't recognize that name, you must tune into the History channel a bit more often.
  • Over 300,000 rivets hold the copper shell to the armature. 
  • Her outstretched arm is 42 feet long.
  • The arm has been closed to tourists since 1916.
  • One fingernail on the statue weighs 3.5 pounds.
  • Her shoe size would be the equivalent of size 879.  I gave that bit of information to the nice young man at the Croc kiosk at the mall the other day.  That's a whole lot bigger than the giant Croc he has on display.
  • Supposedly, the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, modeled the face from that of his mother.  Since her face is larger than President Lincoln's on Mount Ruishmore, his mom must have been a pretty big gal.
  • The statue's official name is 'Liberty Enlightening the World'.
  • It took 25 years for the copper to oxide and turn green.
  • The statue was a functioning light house until 1902.
  • The New Colossus, written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 was used in the fundraising effort for the pedestal.  The plaque was added to the base of the statue in 1903.

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
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. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I never realized that there was more to poem than the last five lines.

As I was going though my photo albums looking for these pictures from our 1988 visit to Ed & Nina, I also came across a couple of pictures  we took of the World Trade Center.  Seeing the buildings in my own photo albums has an affect that I can't describe.  I remember having this same reaction months ago.  I was watching a favorite movie from my teenage years, Godspell.  Yes, Will and Sammy, there were movies way back then.  The ending scene from Godspell was filmed on top of one of the Trade Center buildings.

Despite the price of gas, the economy woes and what the approval rating is for President Obama, I am pretty dang lucky to live in the United States.

Have the Best 4th of July ever!

~ Dorothy

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