On June 17, 1885, as a gift from the French, the now iconic Statue of Liberty arrived dismantled by boat in New York Harbor, according to The History Channel.
Lady Liberty was shipped across the Atlantic in 350 pieces packed in more than 200 cases and was “reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by US President Grover Cleveland,’’ The History Channel said.
As a gift of friendship, Edouard de Laboulaye, known as the “Father of the Statue of Liberty,’’ proposed the idea for a statue in 1865 to represent the freedom and democracy Americans held sacred. According to the National Park Service, Laboulaye believed the US statue would increase the desire to gain the same democracy in France. He formed the Franco-American Union to fundraise.
France paid for the statue, named “Liberty Enlightening the World,’’ and America agreed to pick up the tab for the pedestal.Auguste Bartholdi, a French architect, designed her.
Laboulaye wanted the statue to be completed by 1876 for America’s 100th birthday, but funding issues delayed completion till summer 1884.
She weighs 450,000 pounds and stands at more than 305 feet.
Here are some other Lady Liberty fun facts:
1. Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who later designed the Eiffel Tower, helped sculpt the inner framework to support the statue.
3. She has a 35-foot waist.
4. “Lady Liberty is thought to have been hit by around 600 bolts of lightning every year since she was built,’’ according to The Daily Mail.
5. According to CNN, the seven rays on her crown symbolize the seven seas and seven continents.
6. Approximately 4 million people visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island every year, the New York Harbor Parks reports.
Happy Birthday, Lady Liberty!