Liberty

View South from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, 1912

View South from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, 1912

In this hand-colored photograph, taken in 1912 by Irving Underhill, we see a very different Lower Manhattan Skyline than we would today. In fact, Underhill was taking the picture from the tallest building in the world, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. The Woolworth Building, which would take the title in 1913, was not yet completed. It can be seen at the vanishing point of the horizon. To its right is the Singer Building, which is now 1 Liberty Plaza, and a little further right, merely a speck in the harbor, is the Statue of Liberty.

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Aerial Overview of the Statue of Liberty and Upper New York Bay, 1956

Aerial Overview of the Statue of Liberty and Upper New York Bay, 1956

The Statue of Liberty stands at the entrance to New York Harbor, welcoming all to the land of liberty. Looking past her, you can see a string of barges heading into the harbor and an Ocean Liner heading out. Beyond them are the Lower Manhattan Skyline and the East River bridges. The golden age of transatlantic sailing  was coming to an end by this time, and the era of jet travel was about to begin.

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Times Square VE Day Celebration, 1945

Times Square VE Day Celebration, 1945

On May 8, 1945, the ticker tape came down on the throng flooding Times Square. The war had ended in Europe. A scale model of the Statue of Liberty was on site to oversee the proceedings. With brown-outs over now, Times Square will once again become the Great White Way, and the actual Statue of Liberty will be lit for the first time since the beginning of the war.

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Hats at a World War I Liberty Rally in Times Square, 1918

Hats at a World War I Liberty Rally in Columbus Circle, 1918

There was a time when everybody wore a hat. Here a crowd of thousands, mostly men, stand in Times Square during a WWI Liberty Rally.  There's not a bare head amongst them. If you look carefully, you can see a couple of women's hats.

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Aerial Overview of Statue of Liberty and Jersey Shore, 1935

Aerial Overview of Statue of Liberty and Jersey Shore, 1935

For a Lady pushing fifty, Miss Liberty still looks good. In 1933, two years prior to this photo, the National Park Service took over the administration of the Statue of Liberty from the War Department. In 1938, they closed the Statue for renovation from May until December. Most of the buildings in this photograph were demolished as part of the renovation effort by the Works Progress Administration, which was a New Deal program designed to provide jobs to the unemployed during the Great Depression.

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The Queen Mary Cruises Past the Statue of Liberty, 1960

The Queen Mary Cruises Past the Statue of Liberty, 1960

The RMS Queen Mary, nearing the end of her career, cruises into New York Harbor past Lady Liberty.  The Mary herself was a familiar symbol of liberty, having served as a troop transport during World War II.  After the war, she was refitted for passenger service, and until the era of jet travel forced her into retirement in 1967, she and her sister ship, the Elizabeth, served as the Queens of transatlantic travel.

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The Statue of Liberty's Arm in Madison Square Park, 1876

The Statue of Liberty's Arm in Madison Square Park, 1876

In this photo, the arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty have been staged in Madison Square Park.  These portions of the Statue were exhibited there as part of the fund raising effort for the building the base.  The arm and torch remained in the park from 1876 through 1882.  In 1885 fund raising efforts were at a standstill, until a push from Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the World garnered nearly 120,000 donations, enabling the completion of the pedestal and the assembly of the Statue of Liberty in place on Bedloe's Island.

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