The Story Of The Statue Of Liberty

The beacon of hope for all Americans and immigrants is the Statue of Liberty. The history behind this iconic statue is as rich as the founding of America. 

One infamous statue is the ultimate symbol of freedom and is recognized around the world, that’s right we’re talking about Lady Liberty herself. The Statue of Liberty is located near the New York Harbor and would greet immigrants from around the world chasing the American dream with the hopes of passing through Ellis Island to become true Americans. 

In 1865 French historian Edouard de Laboulaye comes up with the idea to create a shared statue between the French and the United States in celebration of its success in building democracy with the goal of commemorating the U.S. Centennial. Lady Liberty also represents the shared ideas of the French and the United States of freedom and democracy. 

A French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi begins sketching the Statue of Liberty in 1870. The project moved quickly as the completed head and shoulders along with her right hand holding the torch were(finished by 1876) are on display at the Paris Universal Exposition and the American Centennial Exhibitions. The statue’s armature was designed by one of the most famous sculptors in France, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the Eiffel Tower. 

By 1885 the statue is completed sending it from France to the United States. Nearly every piece of Lady Liberty has meaning from her wrapped robe garment, the torch in her right hand symbolizing the light of reason, she also carries a law book in her right hand that is marked with the day of the Declaration of Independence was signed. 

The following year in 1886, President Grover Cleveland officially celebrates what was then known as Liberty Enlightening the World at a grand ceremony and six years later the U.S. government opens an immigration station on Ellis Island. The statue features “The New Colossus” poem by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed at the base of the statue and remains to this day. 

The Statue Of Liberty is a depiction of the Roman goddess of freedom and the statue measures at 151 feet tall with the height doubled with the pedestal she is displayed on. The statue is made of an iron support structure and the outer layer was made with copper, but in 1900 the statue’s exterior began to change color, and eventually, the decision led to the leave of this patina on the statue. This decision led to the statue’s iconic green color that is recognized around the world. 

Creating Lady Liberty was a joint effort with countless hard workers from France and America, the statue was to be built in France then shipped by boat to America. During the building of the statue, there was criticism that the statue should be designed by an American artist along with the issue of taking many years to collect the funding for building the pedestal required to hold the statue. 

The pedestal stalled the project for many years but once she was presented on Independence Day in 1884, shipped from France to America, and was ultimately opened in New York Harbor in 1886. The Statue of Liberty became a symbol of the country greeting many immigrants to American and was an international symbol of freedom. 

The poem on the base of the statue reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” which also welcomed settlers to the new world. Lady Liberty is considered a beacon of hope as she is not threatening and not a symbol of power. 

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