Statue of Liberty

The New Colossus

 Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land:
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
   With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)


 
 

Located in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of international
friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is
one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy. The
Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and was designated a
National Monument on October 15, 1924. The Statue was extensively restored
in time for her spectacular centennial on July 4, 1986.

Nearby Ellis Island was incorporated as part of the Statue of Liberty National
Monument on May 11, 1965. Between 1892 and 1954, approximately 12
million steerage and third class steamship passengers who entered the United
States through the port of New York were legally and medically inspected at
Ellis Island. Reopened on September 10, 1990 after a massive restoration, the
Main Building on Ellis Island is now a museum dedicated to the history of
immigration and the important role this island claimed during the mass migration
of humanity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


 

Construction of the Statue began in France in the year 1875, by
    sculptor Auguste Bartholdi. The final completion date of the
    individual sections was in June of 1884, and it stood in Paris until it
    was dismantled in early 1885 for shipping to the US.
Engineering of the structure's assembly  was done by Gustave Eiffel, designer of the Eiffel Tower.

    The French frigate "Isere" transported the Statue from France to the United States. In transit the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates.

    (The pedestal was designed by architect Richard M. Hunt in 1877. Construction of the  pedestal began in 1883 and was completed in 1884, and final assembly of the statue &  pedestal was completed in 1886)

    On October 28, 1886 President Grover Cleveland accepted The Statue on behalf of the  United States and said in part: "we will not forget that liberty here made her home; nor shall  her chosen altar be neglected".
 


 
 

AND
More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About The Lady With The Light

Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design
a sculpture with the year 1876 in mind for completion, to
commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of
Independence. The Statue was a joint effort between America
and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were
to build the pedestal, and the French people were responsible for
the Statue and its assembly here in the United States. However,
lack of funds was a problem on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
In France, public fees, various forms of entertainment, and a
lottery were among the methods used to raise funds. In the United
States, benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions and prize
fights assisted in providing needed funds. Meanwhile in France,
Bartholdi required the assistance of an engineer to address
structural issues associated with designing such as colossal copper
sculpture. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower)
was commissioned to design the massive iron pylon and
secondary skeletal framework which allows the Statue's copper
skin to move independently yet stand upright. Back in America,
fund raising for the pedestal was going particularly slowly, so
Joseph Pulitzer (noted for the Pulitzer Prize) opened up the
editorial pages of his newspaper, "The World" to support the fund
raising effort. Pulitzer used his newspaper to criticize both the rich
who had failed to finance the pedestal construction and the middle
class who were content to rely upon the wealthy to provide the
funds. Pulitzer's campaign of harsh criticism was successful in
motivating the people of America to donate.

Financing for the pedestal was completed in August 1885, and
pedestal construction was finished in April of 1886. The Statue
was completed in France in July, 1884 and arrived in New York
Harbor in June of 1885 on board the French frigate "Isere" which
transported the Statue of Liberty from France to the United
States. In transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces
and packed in 214 crates. The Statue was re-assembled on her
new pedestal in four months time. On October 28th 1886, the
dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in front of
thousands of spectators. She was a centennial gift ten years late.

The story of the Statue of Liberty and her island has been one of
change. The Statue was placed upon a granite pedestal inside the
courtyard of the star-shaped walls of Fort Wood (which had been
completed for the War of 1812.) The United States Lighthouse
Board had responsibility for the operation of the Statue of Liberty
until 1901. After 1901, the care and operation of the Statue was
placed under the War Department. A Presidential Proclamation
declared Fort Wood (and the Statue of Liberty within it) a
National Monument on October 15th, 1924 and the monument's
boundary was set at the outer edge of Fort Wood. In 1933, the
care and administration of the National Monument was
transferred to the National Park Service. On September 8, 1937,
 jurisdiction was enlarged to encompass all of Bedloe's Island and
 in 1956, the island's name was changed to Liberty Island. On
May 11, 1965, Ellis Island was also transferred to the National
Park Service and became part of the Statue of Liberty National
Monument.


 

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