- from Statue of Liberty
Almost 100 years after the statue was dedicated, Liberty needed more than a facelift. Almost every part of her needed repairs.
A fund-raising effort began in 1984 for Liberty’s 100th birthday, which was two years away. President Ronald Reagan formed a commission. Money came from thousands of people. Everyone from schoolchildren to big businesses helped out.
Engineers, architects, contractors, and 500 skilled workers helped in the repair effort. The statue had to be closed. 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. A laser beam “lit” the torch. Thousands watched nearby. Many more saw it live on TV. It was a proud day, honoring a 100-year-old lady who was strong enough to keep the dream of freedom and opportunity alive.