Arguably two of the most famous sights to see aboard a Skyline Princess Cruise are The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Both are staple landmarks in New York Harbor and important parts of America’s history. But just how much do you know about Lady Liberty and Ellis Island? Read on for important information regarding the history of both of these iconic landmarks.
A History of the Statue of Liberty
Formally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from the people of France to commemorate 100 years of Franco-American friendship as well as to commemorate the centennial of America’s independence. The French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue out of sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, designed the statue’s steel framework.
In June of 1885, the statue arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French ship “Isere.” While in transit, the statue was divided into 350 pieces and packed into 214 crates. Once she reached America, it took four months to re-assemble all her parts. The Statue of Liberty stands at 305 feet tall and 6 inches from the base of the pedestal foundation to the torch. Although she is a greenish-blue hue now, she was initially the color of a shiny new penny. It took roughly 20 years for the copper to oxidize.
Many are curious why the Statue of Liberty is a woman. Classic images of liberty have usually been represented by a woman. Lady Liberty’s face is also said to be modeled after Bartholid’s mother.
A History of Ellis Island
Located at the mouth of the Hudson River and sitting adjacent to Lady Liberty, lies Ellis Island. Opened in 1892, Ellis Island served the purpose of an immigration station for more than 60 years until it closed in 1954. More than 12 million immigrants came through Ellis Island during this period. It has been estimated that close to 40% of all current U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors to Ellis Island.
The federal government wanted to take control of immigration to make sure that immigrants did not have any diseases, and that they would be able to support themselves once they arrived in the country. The very first immigrant to arrive on Ellis Island was 15-year-old Annie Moore from Ireland. Annie made her way to America with her two young brothers in order to reunite with her parents, who were already in the country. Today, there is a statue of Annie on Ellis Island.
The island was nicknamed “Island of Hope” for many immigrants coming to America to start a better life. Today, Ellis Island is part of the National Park Service together with the Statue of Liberty. The main building is now an immigration museum that tourists can visit.
See History with Skyline Cruises
Here at Skyline Cruises, we can provide an up-close view of these historical American landmarks, among many others. For a unique, memorable, and educational experience, don’t hesitate to contact Skyline Cruises today!