Statue Of Liberty National Monument

Statue Of Liberty National Monument

Lady Liberty Celebrates 125 Years

October 14, 2011, 11:35 am

The Statue of Liberty will be celebrating her 125th birthday on October 28, 2011, and with events to commemorate the milestone planned throughout the coming year, folks across the country are invited to join in on the festivities. Along with events on and around Liberty Island in New York Harbor, there will also be online celebrations.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The dedication was attended by President Grover Cleveland, included a flotilla of vessels across New York Harbor, and was followed by a fireworks display and New York City’s first ever ‘Ticker Tape’ parade.

To commemorate the 125th anniversary of the dedication, the National Park Service is hosting a special series of events that will re-create, to the greatest extent possible, the actual program that guided that day’s events 125 years ago. The day will include a naturalization ceremony, musical performances, a gun salute, a U.S. Coast Guard sponsored Flotilla, FDNY Fireboat water spout display and a presentation of "Gifts of Friendship" to a representative of the French government. In place of a ‘Ticker Tape’ parade, the NPS is planning an environmentally-friendly virtual Twitter-Tape parade, in which members of the public are invited to tweet their well-wishes to Lady Liberty at @StatueLibrtyNPS.

The day will conclude with a Macy’s fireworks spectacular surrounding Liberty Island. The fireworks will be viewable from Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park. They’ll begin at 7:45 p.m. and last approximately 12 minutes, with the radio station 1010 WINS airing an accompanying musical score.

Macy’s has also recorded a special song for use during the fireworks display. The newly recorded song “Gift of Light” features music by Grammy-winning composer Doug Katsaros and words by Emmy-winning lyricist William Schermerhorn. The song has been expanded from its original version and recorded specifically as a special feature of the musical accompaniment for the grand finale of the fireworks. “Gift of Light” will be available on iTunes in mid-October, with proceeds to benefit The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.’s non-profit mission for projects at Liberty and Ellis Islands, working in partnership with the National Park Service.

With the exception of the private naturalization ceremony, the day’s events are open to the public. The main ceremony will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Liberty Island. Guests are advised to reserve their ferry tickets in advance at statuecruises.com.

Those who can’t make it to New York Harbor to celebrate in person are invited to join in online A team of rangers on Liberty Island will be covering the event with live updates on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, as well as on the park’s website at nps.gov.

Additionally, in conjunction with and celebration of the Statue’s 125th birthday, the Peopling of America® Center—a major expansion of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum—will open the doors of the first phase of its exhibits. When it is finished, the museum will feature exhibits dedicated to those who arrived before the immigration station opened in 1892—going back to the earliest arrival of the Native Americans, through the early colonists, forced migration and the early Europeans—and will pick up with the Post-Ellis years, covering those who arrived in 1954 right up to the present. The Post-Ellis wing is expected to be completed in 2013. The Pre-Ellis Galleries are scheduled to open Friday, October 28, 2011 in the historic Railroad Ticket Office of the Ellis Island Museum.

Image: The 1886 Dedication of the Statue of Liberty. Source: National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument Collection