Happy 125th Anniversary for the Statue of Liberty in New York City!
What is the history of the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty, officially known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” is a symbol of freedom and democracy and one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States.
Here is a brief history of the Statue of Liberty:
- Concept and Design: The idea for the Statue of Liberty was conceived by French politician and abolitionist Édouard René de Laboulaye in the early 1860s. He proposed the idea as a gift to the United States to celebrate its centennial and to symbolize the shared values of freedom and democracy between France and the U.S.
- Construction: The statue was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who was inspired by the Roman goddess Libertas. The construction of the statue began in France in 1875. The statue’s copper skin was built using a technique called repoussé, where thin sheets of copper were hammered into shape over a wooden framework.
- Fundraising: The statue’s pedestal and assembly were funded through donations from both the American and French public. Fundraising efforts on both sides of the Atlantic garnered support from various individuals and groups, including schoolchildren who donated their pennies.
- Arrival in the United States: In 1885, the disassembled statue arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French frigate “Isère.” It was later reassembled on Liberty Island (then known as Bedloe’s Island) in New York Harbor.
- Dedication: The dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place on October 28, 1886. The ceremony was attended by numerous dignitaries, including President Grover Cleveland and French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand de Lesseps.
- Symbol of Freedom: The Statue of Liberty quickly became a symbol of freedom and hope for immigrants arriving in the United States. It was one of the first sights seen by millions of immigrants as they entered New York Harbor on their way to Ellis Island, the primary immigration processing station.
- Renovations and Restoration: Over the years, the statue underwent several renovations and restorations to maintain its structural integrity and preserve its iconic appearance. In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Public Access: The statue’s pedestal and crown have been open to the public at various times throughout its history, allowing visitors to climb to the crown for a panoramic view of New York City and the harbor. However, access to the crown was temporarily closed for security reasons after the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was later reopened with enhanced security measures.
Today, the Statue of Liberty remains an enduring symbol of freedom, democracy, and the enduring friendship between France and the United States. It continues to attract millions of visitors from around the world who come to marvel at its grandeur and significance.
125th Anniversary Weekend For Lady Liberty
This past weekend was not only about the spook-tastic delights of Halloween but also marked a milestone in American design, architecture, and art with the 125 birthday of Lady Liberty herself. New York’s most iconic art piece, the Statue of Liberty, celebrated its 125th anniversary. Leave it to New York’ers to deck out the occasion with patriotic spectacular styling and American celebratory festivities.
The iconic figure of Lady Liberty has long been an emblem, a sign of tradition, freedom, unity, and strength, that has reminded the “Land of the Free” where we come from and how we have evolved to become the world’s most diverse group of individuals. 125 years ago, France gave us this symbolic work of art that holds a special place in the hearts of New York’ers, but more importantly, it holds an even deeper meaning for our ancestors and founders who migrated to this country that make it the land it is today.
Celebrating the monumental anniversary included a 12 minute firework show in true patriotic fashion along with anointing 125 immigrants from 46 different countries with their very own US citizenship. Capping off the crowning achievement of 125 years of taking in our tired, our poor, and our huddled masses yearning to breathe free, was the new addition of technological innovation through the placement of five cameras that stream images viewed from Lady Liberty’s torch 24/7. The video captured from these cameras show viewers a sight unseen to them since its inception. Keep on shining bright, Lady Liberty.