Distraction of the Day: The Story Behind That Replica Statue Of Liberty In The Susquehanna River
If you’re from Philadelphia like me, or from anywhere east or south of State College that requires you to take Route 322, you’ve probably rubbernecked at the above Statue of Liberty replica in the Susquehanna River on your way to or from school. Seeing that statue for the first time is one of the first memories related to Penn State in any way that I have, so the explanation about its origin that has circulated on social media this week is fascinating.
In 2011, CBS News did a feature on the oddly-placed replica of Lady Liberty. A Dauphin County lawyer named Gene Stlip built the replica statue out of plywood and venetian blinds 28 years ago to honor the 100th birthday of the real Statue. He and friends decided they’d sneak it atop an uprising in the river in the middle of the night. It caused such rubbernecking that cars would bump into each other on the highway, and some would just pull over to take pictures. It stood there for six years until wind blew it over, but it had become such a part of the community that it raised $25,000 to build a new statue, which has stood ever since.
Give it a look (the part about the statue starts around the 1:00 mark):