This Friday, the Statue of Liberty turns 125 years old, and to celebrate she’s getting some new high-tech gear in the form of five webcams located inside her torch. Four of the cameras will point towards Ellis Island, Governors Island, Liberty Island and the Freedom Tower respectively, while the fifth will give viewers a unique look at the torch itself.
The new cameras will go live during a ceremony that will cap a week filled with special events commemorating the original dedication of Lady Liberty, which took place on October 29, 1886. The 151-foot tall statue was a gift to the United States from France in honor of the ten year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. During the Revolutionary War, the two nations became close allies, and the U.S. revolution would later inspire many in France to follow suit.
The new webcams will operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and offer a full panorama of the New York City harbor. They have been installed in the torch, well above the crown, and will provide views that haven’t been seen from the statue since 1916.
Friday’s ceremony is open to the public and will also include 125 candidates from 40 different countries, taking the oath of citizenship. Actress Sigourney Weaver will be on hand to read the “Mother of Exiles” poem, written by Emma Lazarus, which helped to make the statue so famous. It was Lazarus who penned the phrase “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Those hoping to attend the ceremony are encouraged to arrive early. Ferry service will be available between Manhattan and Liberty Island. For the rest of us, we’ll have to just wait until the webcams are switched on to take in the new view.