Mental Floss

All About Lady Liberty

Erin McCarthy
Getty Images
Getty Images / Getty Images

On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor on the French steamer Isère. Here are a few historical reels about the statue, one commonly-asked question about when Lady Liberty took on her familiar hue, and a few of her iconic on-screen performances.

Circa 1898

Thomas Edison held the copyright on this short film, shot when the statue was 12 years old.

The Statue Gets a Cleaning

This video, shot in 1930, shows men bravely dangling off the statue’s crown to clean its face.

That Green Hue

Just when, exactly, did Lady Liberty make the transition from her original shiny copper to the iconic green she now sports?

An interview with the Keeper of the Flame

Charlie DiLeo, “Keeper of the Flame,” describes how he does this job (it involves a shoelace).

Taking a Walk in Ghostbusters 2

In this 1989 film, Lady Liberty is key in helping the Ghostbusters save the world.

The end of Planet of the Apes

The appearance of Lady Liberty in this film inspired Charlton Heston to scream “You maniacs!” Here’s how movie magicians created the iconic scene.

Losing her head in Cloverfield

In this creature-feature, an unknown monster rips off the Statue of Liberty’s head and tosses it into the heart of Manhattan. (Beware, NSFW language in this clip.)

Curious how they did it on a budget? Check out this video.

Getting a lift in Superman IV

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It's the Statue of Liberty being carried by Superman!