Replica of the Statue of Liberty
Dedicated by the Boy Scouts of America in 1950, this Replica of the Statue of Liberty is located at the entrance to Liberal Memorial Library. The replica statue commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Boy Scouts and represents the motto, "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty." The statue is an 8 1/2 foot version of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, which welcomes visitors, immigrants, and Americans who are returning to the United States.
Replica Statue of Liberty in Liberal, KS
Marker of the Statue of Liberty in Liberal
Liberal Memorial Library
Backstory and Context
The Boy Scots of America celebrated their 40th anniversary in 1950 with the theme of "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty." As part of the campaign, hundreds of scale replicas of the Statue of Liberty were created nationwide. The idea for the 100 inch (8 1/2-feet tall), 290-pound statues came from Kansas City business man J.P. Whitaker, the then Scout Commissioner of the Kansas City Area Council.
The copper statues were manufactured by Friedley-Voshardt of Chicago, Illinois, and purchased through the Kansas City Boy Scout Office. The mass-produced statues are nearly identical to the colossal Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The original copper Statue of Liberty, designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was a gift from the people of France and made its way to America in 1885.
The original statue is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken shackle and chain lie at her feet as she walks forward, commemorating the recent national abolition of slavery. After its dedication, the statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, seen as a symbol of welcome to immigrants arriving by sea.
Many of the replicas have been lost or destroyed, but many remain in tact. The following is a list of all the replica statues in Kansas:
- Coffeyville, in front of the high school
- Colby, Fike Park, Corner of Franklin and East 8th Street
- Eldorado, Butler County Historical Society Museum
- Garden City, Finney County Courthouse, 8th Street side
- Garnett, Courthouse Square
- Harlan, Roadside Park, US 281, 5 miles from Harlan
- Hays, Hays Public Library, 1205 Main
- Hillsboro, Hillsboro Memorial Park, Birch Street
- Independence, Penn and Locust
- Kingman, Kingman Elementary and Junior High School, North Main Street
- La Crosse, La Crosse City Park, South Main Street
- Leavenworth, City Hall, Lawn, northeast corner of 5th and Shawnee
- Lebanon, Kansas Geographical center of the lower 48 states
- Liberal, Liberal Memorial Library, 519 North Kansas
- Medicine Lodge, Medicine Lodge Grade School, 320 North Walnut, Northwest corner
- Overland Park, Shawnee Mission North High School, 7401 Johnson Drive
- Parsons, Parsons Middle School, Southwest corner, 28th and Main
- Pratt, Gateway Park, Corner of East First and Stout
- Russell, Lincoln Park, Corner of 4th and Lincoln Streets
- St. John, City Park Square, Northeast corner, 4th and Broadway
- Salina, Oakdale Park, 320 East Ash
- Smith County, located in small park overlooking the North Fork of the Solomon River Valley just west of U.S. 281
- Topeka, Kansas State Capitol grounds
- Troy, Doniphan County Courthouse, Southwest grounds
- Washington, Washington County Courthouse, C Street and 3rd
- Wichita, Roosevelt Middle School, 2100 East Douglas
Uhland, Vicky. Liberty Icons Get a New View, The Denver Post. January 5th, 2007. https://www.denverpost.com/2007/01/05/liberty-icons-get-a-new-view/.
Photo by William Fischer, Jr.