Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 17, 1885 the Statue of Liberty Arrives in America from France


Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde

It was 130 years ago today, June 17, 1885 that the Statue of Liberty arrived in America as a gift from France.  It took the French over a decade to assemble the pieces for shipment to America.

Origins of the Statue of Liberty

Around 1865, as the American Civil War drew to a close, the French historian Edouard de Laboulaye proposed that France create a statue to give to the United States in celebration of that nation’s success in building a viable democracy. The sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, known for largescale sculptures, earned the commission; the goal was to design the sculpture in time for the centennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1876.

In 1885, Bartholdi completed the statue, which was disassembled, packed in more than 200 crates, and shipped to New York, arriving that June aboard the French frigate Isere. Over the next four months, workers reassembled the statue and mounted it on the pedestal; its height reached 305 feet (or 93 meters), including the pedestal. On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland officially dedicated the Statue of Liberty in front of thousands of spectators.


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