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Why do they have a Statue of Liberty on the City Hall lawn?

Ben Steelman

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

That time was 1950, one of the darkest moments in the Cold War. An entrepreneur in St. Louis apparently sold a number of these copper replicas of the original Statue of Liberty to Scout groups around the country. George Tenuta, a local insurance agent and vice president of the Boy Scouts’ Coastal Council, and John Lockfaw, a local mortician who was active in the Jaycees and the Lions, adopted the project.

Local Scouts raised $375, mostly in small change, to pay for the statue. The City of Wilmington agreed to pay for the base and provide a site. The statue — 12 feet tall, including base — was dedicated in a special ceremony Oct. 21, 1951, including a parade of black and white Scout troops. It was rededicated on Independence Day 1986. in conjunction with the real Statue of Liberty’s reopening after an extensive restoration.

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