FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
The Statue of Liberty, officially known as Liberty Enlightening the World (French: La Liberté éclairant le monde), is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor within New York City, in the United States. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.
The statue is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken shackle and chain lie at her feet as she walks forward, commemorating the recent national abolition of slavery. After its dedication, the statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, seen as a symbol of welcome to immigrants arriving by sea.
Bartholdi was inspired by a French law professor and politician, Édouard René de Laboulaye, who is said to have commented in 1865 that any monument raised to U.S. independence would properly be a joint project of the French and U.S. peoples. The Franco-Prussian War delayed progress until 1875, when Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the U.S. provide the site and build the pedestal. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions.
The torch-bearing arm was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and in Madison Square Park in Manhattan from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened by lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer, of the New York World, started a drive for donations to finish the project and attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar (equivalent to $29 in 2020). The statue was built in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe’s Island. The statue’s completion was marked by New York’s first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.
The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War; since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, and is a major tourist attraction. Public access to the balcony around the torch has been barred since 1916.
- 1582: FIRST DAY OF CONVERSION TO GREGORIAN CALENDAR FROM JULIAN FOR SEVERAL COUNTRIES (POLAND, SPAIN, ITALY, PORTUGAL), DUE TO POPE GREGORY XIII’S DECREE. GREAT BRITAIN AND COLONIES DID NOT CONVERT UNTIL 1752
- 1881: AMERICAN ANGLER, THE FIRST FISHING MAGAZINE IN THE U.S., WAS PUBLISHED IN PHILADELPHIA, PA
- BORN 1881: P. G. WODEHOUSE (AUTHOR, HUMORIST)
- 1900: SYMPHONY HALL IN BOSTON WAS INAUGURATED AS THE HOME OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
- BORN 1905: C.P. SNOW (NOVELIST)
- BORN 1942: PENNY MARSHALL (ACTRESS & DIRECTOR)
- BORN 1945: JIM PALMER (BASEBALL PLAYER)
- BORN 1946: RICHARD CARPENTER (MUSICIAN)
- DIED 1960: CLARA KIMBALL YOUNG (ACTRESS)
- DIED 1964: COLE PORTER (COMPOSER)
- 1966: PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON SIGNED A BILL CREATING THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
- 1991: VETERANS MEMORIAL BRIDGE OPENED, PORT ARTHUR-BRIDGE CITY, TEXAS
- 1997: ANDY GREEN BECAME THE FIRST PERSON TO BREAK THE SOUND BARRIER IN A LAND-BASED VEHICLE, AT 763.035 MPH
- 2003: IN NEW YORK, THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY PLOWED INTO A PIER KILLING 10 PEOPLE AND INJURING 42 MORE
- 2003: CHINA LAUNCHED ITS FIRST MANNED SPACE MISSION BECOMING THE THIRD COUNTRY IN HISTORY TO SEND A PERSON INTO ORBIT — FOUR DECADES AFTER THE SOVIET UNION AND THE UNITED STATES
- 2006: A MAGNITUDE 6.6 EARTHQUAKE OCCURRED NEAR KAILUA-KONA ON THE WEST COAST OF THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII
- DIED 2008: EDIE ADAMS (ACTRESS & SINGER)