Statue of Liberty National Monument

Liberty Enlightening the World


Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States and is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and liberty. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886. It became a World Heritage Site in 1984. The island was extensively restored and reopened on July 4, 1986, shortly before the Statue's centennial in October 1986. The island is open to the public.Donated by citizens of France to celebrate Franco-American friendship, the Statue of Liberty is significant for its physical and symbolic characteristics. Richard Morris Hunt prepared the plans for the 89 foot high pedestal; French engineer Alexandre Gustav Eiffel designed the iron framework which supports the copper sheathing. Many consider this frame noteworthy in itself, because of its ability to support an irregularly-shaped structure subject to high winds. Symbolically, the Statue of Liberty reflects the political ideals of the late nineteenth century. It commemorates America's founding principles of liberty, freedom, and opportunity in America for all. More than sixteen million immigrants passed by the Statue of Liberty on the way to the Ellis Island Immigration Station.President Grover Cleveland gave a speech. Mayor Grace presented the freedom of the city. The very first Ticker tape parade followed soon after.A nautical parade began at 12:45 p.m., and President Cleveland embarked on a yacht that took him across the harbor to Bedloe's Island for the dedication. De Lesseps made the first speech, on behalf of the French committee, followed by the chairman of the New York committee, Senator William M. Evarts. A French flag draped across the statue's face was to be lowered to unveil the statue at the close of Evarts's speech, but Bartholdi mistook a pause as the conclusion and let the flag fall prematurely. The ensuing cheers put an end to Evarts's address. President Cleveland spoke next, stating that the statue's "stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man's oppression until Liberty enlightens the world". Bartholdi, observed near the dais, was called upon to speak, but he declined. Orator Chauncey M. Depew concluded the speechmaking with a lengthy address.

Proposal, 1865

The statue was initially called Liberty Enlightening the World and was meant as a gift from France to the United States, celebrating the country’s independence. At first, the statue was assembled in pieces, with financing for the project proving to be difficult.The torch-bearing arm was first displayed in Philadelphia at the Centennial Exposition in 1876 and the head was exhibited at the Paris World’s Fair in 1878.The statue was completed in France in 1884, but money was still needed to complete the pedestal in New York. Eventually, a donations drive spearheaded by publisher Joseph Pulitzer attracted over 100,000 contributions and the pedestal was finished by April 1886.

Constructed, 1886

On Oct. 28, 1886, that the Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated during a ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland. The celebration also included something that would eventually become a New York City tradition of its own: its first ticker-tape parade.

Renovation, 1986

Cleaned the statue. There was a huge celebration with fireworks


Related People
Grover Cleveland, October 28, 1886 Dedication ceremony, presided over by President Grover Cleveland.
Joseph Pulitzer, Summer 1885 - Fundraising efforts, spurred on by Joseph Pulitzer, collect money to complete pedestal.

Related Sites

Related Playlist

Related Publications
6 Results,Show less