Statue of Liberty National Monument facts for kids

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Statue of Liberty National Monument
Liberty and Ellis Island.jpg
Location Jersey City, New Jersey and
New York City, New York
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Governing body U.S. National Park Service
Website Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
U.S. National Monument
Designated October 15, 1924
Statue of Liberty
U.S. National Monument
Designated May 11, 1965
Ellis Island
Official name: Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island
Designated October 15, 1966
Reference no. 66000058
New Jersey Register of Historic Places
Official name: Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island
Designated May 27, 1971
Reference no. 1535

The Statue of Liberty National Monument is a United States National Monument comprising Liberty Island and Ellis Island in the U.S. states of New Jersey and New York. Established in 1924, it includes the 1886 Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and the Statue of Liberty Museum, both situated on Liberty Island, as well as the former immigration station at Ellis Island which includes the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital.

The monument is managed by the National Park Service as part of the National Parks of New York Harbor office.

History

President Calvin Coolidge used his authority under the Antiquities Act to declare the statue a national monument in 1924. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the monument to include all of Bedloe's Island, and in 1956, an act of Congress officially renamed it Liberty Island. Ellis Island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument by proclamation of President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The United States historic district, a single listing on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, was designated in 1966.

The islands were closed during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and suffered severe damage. Liberty Island reopened July 4, 2013; Ellis Island re-opened October 24, 2013.

Significance

The Statue of Liberty is a world-famous symbol of freedom, given in 1886 by France to the United States in celebration of friendship. Nearby Ellis Island was the first stop for millions of immigrants to the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The national monument recalls this period of massive immigration to the United States.

Inside the statue, a plaque is engraved with words from "The New Colossus", an 1883 poem by Emma Lazarus:

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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Location and access

Lower Manhattan 1999 New York City
Ellis and Liberty Islands (bottom center) in Upper New York Bay at the mouth of the Hudson River (left) near Liberty State Park

The national monument is located in Upper New York Bay east of Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey and southwest of Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan in New York City. Entrance is free, but there is a charge for the ferry service that all visitors must use.

In 2007, a concession was granted to Statue Cruises to operate the transportation and ticketing facilities, replacing the Circle Line which had operated the service since 1953. The waters are patrolled by the U.S. Park Police to enforce the restriction on private boat landings. Ferries depart from both parks and all boats stop at both islands, enabling passengers to visit both islands and choose either destination on the return trip.

Tickets can be purchased at Castle Clinton in Battery Park or at the Communipaw Terminal in Liberty State Park. Along with the ferry ticket, visitors intending to enter the statue's pedestal must also obtain a complimentary ticket. Those wishing to climb the 154 stairs to the crown within the statue must obtain a special ticket, which may be reserved up to a year in advance. Ten people per group, three groups per hour, are permitted to ascend, allowing for a total of 240 per day. After an obligatory second security screening, they may bring only medication and cameras, leaving all other items in lockers provided. Visitors intending to tour Ellis Island's south side, namely the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, must purchase a "Hard Hat Tour" ticket, which charges an additional fee on top of the regular ferry ticket.

Ferry fares, admission status, and additional fees as of 2019
Type Children (age 0-3) Children (age 4-12) Adults Seniors
Ferry ticket: Statue of Liberty (grounds only) and Ellis Island free $9 $18.50 $14
Statue of Liberty pedestal access free with reservation ferry ticket and additional reservation required
Statue of Liberty crown access prohibited ferry ticket and additional $3 ticket required
Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour prohibited ferry ticket and additional $35 ticket required

In 2019, the NPS announced that starting on May 16, 2019, tour groups will be banned from certain parts of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, such as the Statue of Liberty's observation deck and the Ellis Island museum. The NPS cited overcrowding for its decision. Although only 1,000 of the site's 24,000 daily visitors travel to the monument within tour groups, the NPS stated that these groups tend to block pedestrian flow within the monument.

Jurisdiction

Liberty.Ellis.Island.Upper.Bay
Liberty and Ellis Islands

Liberty Island and Ellis Island have been the property of the United States government since 1800 and 1808, respectively. Historical circumstances have led to the unusual situation of Liberty Island and 3.3 acres (13,000 m2) of Ellis Island being exclaves of New York, both completely surrounded by New Jersey. The dominion, jurisdiction, and sovereignty of the islands have variously been the subject of a colonial land grant, a provincial governor's directive, and an interstate compact, as well as several court cases and a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Liberty Island and the acreage on Ellis Island are part of New York City which are completely surrounded by the municipal borders of Jersey City, including 24 acres (97,000 m2) created by land reclamation at Ellis Island and riparian areas. Jurisdiction not superseded by the federal government falls to the appropriate state, New Jersey for the 24 acres, New York for the remaining 3.3 acres.

Related sites

  • Battery Park - entrance to the New York ferry to the monument
  • Liberty State Park - entrance to the New Jersey ferry to the monument
    • Communipaw Terminal - the New Jersey ticket office
  • Governors Island - another island in New York Harbor
    • Governors Island National Monument - a national monument on Governors Island

Statue of Liberty National Monument Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.