A National Symbol


Before the Statue of Liberty sat on Liberty Island, people from other countries would arrive by boat and dock here. If they wanted to become a citizen of the United States, they would have to pass a series of tests before becoming a citizen.

Sometimes 10,000 people would file through this space in 24 hours.

Millions of Americans made the United States the most multi-nation in the World. Ellis Island was opened from 1892-1954 to immigrates who wanted to make America their home. During this time, 12 million immigrates were processed here.

This is the registration building as it looks today.


The immigrants were required to pass a series of medical and legal questions before entering America. If they did not pass, they were sent back home on a boat that would look very much like this one.

The Statue of Liberty now stands in New York Harbor on Ellis Island. A French sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi, had the idea of creating this statue as a thank you to the United States for helping France fight a war.

He thought that when immigrants came to America, Ellis Island would be a good place to place a statue to welcome all visitors. This is the statue that he created in the likeness of his Mother.

What would you see if you visited the Statue today?

If you are lucky enough to arrive on one of the rare days that the elevator is working, you will be whisked to the top of the 156 foot pedestal in no time. Otherwise, you will find yourself climbing up endless stairs, first to the top of the pedestal, and then, using an ever-narrowing staircase, the 12 floors to the statue's crown. (Visitors are no longer allowed to go up to the torch.) You may be weary, but the thrill of peering out the tiny portholes at New York make the trip well worthwhile. You will learn fun facts at the museum, such as shy she's green. She is green because the statue's shell is copper which oxidizes when exposed to the air and its pollutants. The 7 points of her crown represent the seven seas and the seven continents. The Statue of Liberty is 151 feet tall. That makes her the tallest statue of modern times.

Getting into the statue itself is free, but to get to Liberty Island,you will have to pay $7.00. ($5.00 for seniors and $3.00 for children ages 3-17) for the ferry.


Trip to the Statue of Liberty


  Statue of Liberty Facts


Ellis Island Experience

(students assume immigrant identities)


I hope that you have learned something new about the Statue of Liberty.

Return to the main menu to learn more about symbols.