Strengthen the Arm of Liberty was the theme of the Boy Scouts of America’s 40th anniversary celebration in 1950. The project was the brainchild of Kansas City businessman, J.P. Whitaker, who was the Scout Commissioner of the KC area. The goal was to put replicas of the Statue of Liberty across the country.
Whitaker paid $3,500 to have an original mold made for the statues. The copper statues were manufactured by Friedley-Voshardt Co. (Chicago, Illinois) between 1949 and 1952. The statues are about 8.5 feet tall without the base, constructed of sheet copper, and weighing in at 290 pounds. Each one originally cost $350, (equivalent to about $3,820 in 2021) plus freight.
The statues were then sold to Scout troops, who donated them to cities and towns in 39 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.
More than 200 were made at the factory, but over the years many of the statues were destroyed, leaving only around 100 in the world. In Kansas, Scouts donated at least 27 statues throughout the state. Most of which are still standing.
In 1949, Jack Whitaker said, “Americans, more than ever before, need to be reminded that freedom, like life itself, is preserved only through vigilance and care.”
As we roam around Kansas, we’ll post pics here.
Since there is not much information about the individual statues, I’ll try to include a few tidbits of history for each town.
Click on the links below to see each city’s Statue of Liberty