The Statue of Liberty National Monument was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the Statue of Liberty's symbolism has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship.
The Statue was a joint effort between the US and France. The agreement provided for Americans to build the pedestal. France designed and built the Statue, then ship it to the US and assembled it on site. The original idea was to have it finished for the first centenniel birthday of the US in 1876. Unfortunately, as is always the case, both governments underestimated the cost. It took them ten years longer due to lack of funding.
France used public fees, various forms of entertainment and a lottery as some of the means to raise the funds. In the US, benefits were held, auctions were held, and even prize fights were scheduled to rais the money.
To design the structure, France enlisted Alexandre Gustave Eiffel known best as the designer of the Eiffel Tower. He designed the massive iron pylon and the secondary skeletal framework that would allow the Statue's copper skin to move independently and remain upright. France completed the construction of the statue in July of 1884. It arrived in the New York Harbor in June of 1885 on board the French frigate, Isere. The Statue arrive in 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates.
Back in the US, the pedestal was still a long way from being ready. Joseph Pulitzer (the founder of the Pulitzer Prize) started a fund raising effort and was successful in packing the bank. In August of 1885, the needed funds were on hand. Construction of the pedestal was completed in April of 1886. It took the French four months to assemble the Statue on top of the pedestal. On October 28, 1886, the Statue was dedicated with the attendence of thousands of spectators. She was ten years late but better late than never.
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