Seattle's Tiny Statue Of Liberty

Jun 17, 2013

Out on Alki Beach in West Seattle is a statue. It’s called the Statue Of Liberty. It's a replica of the one in New York Harbor. Only this one is tiny, about six feet tall. It was part of a national Boy Scout campaign to erect statues like this across the country: a campaign called "Strengthening The Arm Of Liberty."

The original Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor symbolized America's freedom from colonial powers and its friendship with France. Over the years immigrants passing the statue on the way to Ellis Island adopted the statue as a sort of patron saint, and the famous quote "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" was eventually added to the statue's base.

By the time Seattle's Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1952, its meaning had changed yet again. Liberty was no longer a revolutionary idea. It was something old and familiar, a sign of stability in a time of great social and political instability.

You can get a sense of that instability from this 1951 newsreel. We sampled it in today's story:

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 17: