What is written at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty?


Quick Answer

The plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads: "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!" These lines are from the poem "The New Colossus," written by Emma Lazarus in 1883. There is also a plaque with this same quote at the Statue of Liberty Museum.

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What is written at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty?
Credit: Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha" CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

The Statue of Liberty was given to America by France as a symbol of the alliance that was formed during the Revolutionary War. The statue was originally intended to be delivered in 1887 to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. However, it arrived in New York Harbor in June of 1885. The official dedication ceremony took place on October 28, 1986.

The Statue of Liberty stands just over 305 feet tall from the bottom of the pedestal to the tip of the torch. The tablets that accompany the statue are inscribed with the date July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals. Broken shackles appear near the bottom of the statue to represent freedom from oppression and tyranny. The shackles are meant to symbolize how America broke free from the rule of Britain during the Revolutionary War.

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