Statue of Liberty National Monument
The Statue of Liberty National Monument is a United States national monument located in the U.S. states of New Jersey and New York comprising Liberty Island and Ellis Island. It includes Liberty Enlightening the World, commonly known as the Statue of Liberty, situated on Liberty Island, and the former immigration station at Ellis Island which opened in 1892 and closed in 1954. The monument is managed by the National Park Service as part of the National Parks of New York Harbor office.
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. Extensive repairs on Ellis Island are still being made.
The Statue of Liberty is a world-famous symbol of freedom, given in the 1880s 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", the 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
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.
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 one state, New York, located completely within another state, 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 U.S. Supreme Court decisions. 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.
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