The Dedication of the Statue of Liberty

“Dedication of the Statue of Liberty, with LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®

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.

“Dedication of the Statue of Liberty, with LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®

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.

“Dedication of the Statue of Liberty, with LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®

Nine Statue of Liberty facts worth sharing

  1. According to legend, The Statue of Liberty’s face is modeled after sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi’s mother, Charlotte.
  2. Lady Liberty’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World, translated from the French la Liberté éclairant le monde.
  3. France gave The Statue of Liberty to the United States in 1886, having previously collaborated on the gift after the 1876 centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.
  4. Edouard de Laboulaye developed the idea of giving The Statue of Liberty as a gift, citing the Union victory in the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery as further causes for celebration.
  5. Always fashionable, Lady Liberty wears a size 879 shoe, and boasts a modest 35-foot waistline.
  6. Despite portraying herself convincingly in the films “The Planet of the Apes,” “Independence Day,” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” Lady Liberty has yet to receive an Oscar nomination.
  7. When first erected in 1886, The Statue of Liberty was the tallest iron structure ever built — another on the list of Gustave Eiffel’s personal achievements (the Eiffel Tower creator designed the Statue of Liberty’s spine).
  8. For the average American, the odds of being struck by lightning once in a year are about one in 700,000. The odds of the same person being struck twice are about one in 490 billion. Poor Lady Liberty is struck by lightning an average of 600 times per year, which is why we recommend against holding a gold-plated copper torch while standing in the middle of Upper New York Bay during stormy weather.
  9. Emma Lazarus penned the poem, “The New Colossus” about The Statue of Liberty in 1883. In 1903, the poem was engraved onto a bronze plaque that was placed inside the lower center of the statue.

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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Hungry for more?

Check out the 2-minute video below from The History Channel.

Share Your History With Us!

Send us your pictures of historic memorabilia, American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.

Was this information useful to you?

Do you have suggestions for information you'd like to see here? If so, please send them our way!

Please send all of your suggestions or questions to We want to hear from you!

Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.

Back to blog