The Dedication of the Statue of Liberty
For the People, By the People
Each year on October 28, we celebrate the anniversary of the Dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. The statue was designed in France by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Her framework was built by Gustave Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel).
The colossal sculpture was given to the people of the United States as a gift from the people of France and now resides on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, NYC.
Liberty Enlightening the World
La Liberté Éclairant le Monde
The Statue of Liberty project was initially inspired by the abolition of slavery in the United States during the 1860s, and later conceptually broadened to incorporate and celebrate the notion of American independence from Britain, which France played a key role in by helping to secure the surrender at Yorktown.
The Statue herself is modeled after the Roman goddess, Libertas, depicted holding a symbolic torch light in her right hand and a tablet with inscribed with "July 4, 1776" (in Roman numerals) upon it in her left hand. She is also posed as though breaking free from shackles which have fallen free at her feet.
The Statue of Liberty is now widely recognized as an icon representing the United States and as a symbol of hope to incoming immigrants.
The entire project spanned about 11 years, from 1875 to the dedication in 1886. Due to its size, the statue was shipped over in pieces as they were each completed. The torch-bearing right arm and the head were both featured throughout the construction period, each making stops at notable events across the country.
On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty's dedication ceremony took place. Parades were held, both on land and by sea. President Grover Cleveland was among prominent speech-givers. Finally, the statue was unveiled to the sounds of cheers. Estimates place the viewing crowd size somewhere in the hundreds of thousands to millions.
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