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By Benjamin Levine and Isabelle F. Story|
National Park Service, 1961
This Web Version
The Statue of Liberty was declared a national monument by Presidential proclamation on October 15, 1924, the monument boundaries being set at the outer edge of old Fort Wood. The War Department continued to administer the entire island until, in 1933, again by Presidential proclamation, the Statue of Liberty National Monument was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, the Army retaining the remainder of the island as a military post.
In 1937, another Presidential proclamation declared the army post abandoned and jurisdiction of the entire island passed to the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
On August 3, 1956, a joint resolution of the Congress approved the change of the island's name to Liberty Island. This was done in recognition of the symbolic significance of the statue and of the plan to construct at its base, within the walls of old Fort Wood, the American Museum of Immigration, honoring all those who came to this land in search of freedom and opportunity and to whom the Statue of Liberty was a shining beacon.
While Liberty Island, with an area of approximately 12 acres, is located in the Upper Bay of New York Harbor, it is geographically in the territorial waters of New Jersey.
The actual location of Liberty Island is Jersey City, N. J., (approximately three-eighths of a mile offshore). Jersey City is the source of telephone, power, and water services. It is about 15/8 miles from the Battery, at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, New York City. Transportation and mail services are provided by boat from the Battery. At present a privately owned ferry line is operating under contract with the United States Government.