On this day: Statue of Liberty

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

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On this day we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty.

"In October, 1886, there was unveiled on Bedloe's Island, New York harbor, a statue of 'Liberty Enlightening the World.' It was designed by M. Bartholdi and paid for by the contributions of 100,000 citizens of France, a country which had recently regained a republican form of government. The pedestal was built with money raised in the United States. This statue renewed the ancient feeling of gratitude to France, the oldest friend of our Republic."

--History of the United States for Catholic Schools, by Charles Hallan McCarthy, American Book Company, 1919, page 428.

In 1958, Treasure Chest ran a story about the Statue of Liberty, showing Bartholdi as a beginning sculptor, as a soldier in the Franco-Prussian war, and as the mature artist at work on his greatest creation.

"On October 28, 1886, fifteen years after Frederic Bartholdi had conceived the idea, and after five years of work on the statue, he saw her unveiled by President Grover Cleveland.

"With torch lifted high, Lady Liberty's enormous eyes looked down upon hundred of boats filled with cheering people, as firecrackers saluted her and a sea of French and American flags waved to her -- these were her children. . ."

For recent scholarship on the Statue of Liberty, see Enlightening the World: The Creation of the Statue of Liberty, by Yasmin Sabina Khan, Cornell University Press, 2010. Notice the Book Description, the Editorial Reviews, and the Customer Reviews.

"'Such a work as this gift of one people to another has never yet been thought of, much less achieved,' wrote the New York Independent at the time of the statue's unveiling. The depth of feeling that caused the French people to partake in this exceptional enterprise was founded in a sense of pride in their involvement in the American Revolutionary War." Pages 6-7.

The chapter on "The Unveiling" gives a vivid picture of the dedication ceremony 125 years ago today.

Click here for "Lady Liberty Celebrating 125th," at the National Park Service site. The main ceremony will be from 10:00 - 12:00.

Click here for the Torch Cam, the five cameras mounted in the torch, donated by Earthcam, Inc.

"Several remarkable views will be just a touch of a mouse away. On clear days, three cameras will provide unobstructed panoramas and live views of the famed New York City skyline, along with a front row seat to watch views of the majestic Hudson River and ships in New York Harbor. And that's just looking out. The two remaining cameras provide truly unique views. One provides a ultra wide-angle interactive view of the famed golden torch; and the final camera looks downward."

Click here for Google News of the Statue of Liberty.

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