- from Statue of Liberty
One hundred years after the dedication of the statue, Liberty was in need of more than a simple facelift. Repairs were needed on almost every part of her body.
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. Thousands of donors, from schoolchildren to big businesses, gave money to pay for the repairs.
Engineers, architects, contractors, and 500 highly skilled laborers 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 spruced up. On July 4, 1986, French President François Mitterand and U.S. President Ronald Reagan attended the ceremony, where a laser beam “lit” the torch. Thousands watched nearby, as others saw the spectacle 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.