- from Statue of Liberty
One hundred years after the dedication of the statue, Liberty needed more than a simple facelift. Almost every part of her body needed to be repaired.
A fund-raising effort began in 1984 for Liberty’s 100th birthday, which was then two years away. President Ronald Reagan formed a commission to help. Money came from thousands of donors, from schoolchildren to big businesses.
Engineers, architects, contractors, and 500 skilled workers helped in the repair effort. The statue was closed and surrounded by an aluminum scaffold. Two and a half years and $86 million later, the statue was all fixed up. On July 4, 1986, French President François Mitterand and U.S. President Ronald Reagan attended a ceremony, where a laser beam “lit” the torch. Thousands watched nearby. Others saw it live on TV. It was a proud day, honoring a 100-year-old lady strong enough to keep alive the dream of freedom and opportunity.