29 October 2011

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History of statue of liberty USA - Statue of Liberty celebrates 125th Birthday Part One

History of statue of liberty USA - Statue of Liberty celebrates 125th Birthday

Part One

US celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty on Friday.

History of Statue of Liberty – The story of statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty is gift of to the United States from the people of France.
The statue was given to represent the friendship between the two countries established during the American Revolution.
The statue is located at Liberty Island in New York Harbor.
The statue is the central part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, administered by the National Park Service. The National Monument also includes Ellis Island.

In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The UNESCO "Statement of Significance" describes the statue as a "masterpiece of the human spirit" that "endures as a highly potent symbol—inspiring contemplation, debate and protest—of ideals such as liberty, peace, human rights, abolition of slavery, democracy and opportunity.

It represents a woman wearing a stola, a crown and sandals, trampling a broken chain, and with a torch in her raised right hand and a tabula ansata, where the date of the Declaration of Independence JULY IV MDCCLXXVI is written, in her left hand.

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue and he obtained an U.S. patent for the structure.

Maurice Koechlin, who was chief engineer of Gustave Eiffel's engineering company and designer of the Eiffel Tower, designed the internal structure.

The pedestal was designed by the architect Richard Morris Hunt. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc choose copper in the construction of the statue, and for the adoption of the repoussé construction technique, where a malleable metal is hammered on the reverse side.

The statue is made of a covering of pure copper, put on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf (originally made of copper and later altered to hold glass panes).

It stands over a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is 151 ft (46 m) tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is 305 ft (93 m) tall.

In 1865 a French sculptor named Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi went to a banquet near the town of Versailles, where he struck up a conversation with Edouard de Laboulaye, a prominent historian.

Edouard told to Bartholidi that America’s centennial was approaching in 1876.
He thought it would be a good idea for France to present America with a gift to commemorate the occasion.
Then Bartholidi thought about a Statue and he kept thinking and working in his mind about it for next six years.
By 1871, Bartholdi had most of the details worked out in his mind.
The American monument would be a colossal statue of a woman called “Liberty Enlightening the World.” It would be paid for by the French people, and the pedestal that it stood on would be financed and built by the Americans.

To gather the support he went to USA.

He booked a passage on a ship and sailed to New York to drum up support for it. As he entered New York Harbor, Bartholdi noticed a small, 12-acre piece of land near Ellis Island, called Bedloe’s Island. He decided it was the perfect spot for his statue.

Bartholdi spent the next five months traveling around the U.S. and getting support for the statue.
Then he went back to France, where the government of Emperor Napoléon III (Napoléon Bonaparte’s nephew) was openly hostile to the democratic and republican ideals celebrated by the Statue of Liberty.

They would have jailed him if he’d spoken of the project openly – so Bartholdi kept a low profile until 1874, when the Third Republic was proclaimed after Napoléon III’s defeat.

Bartholdi went back to work.
He founded a group called the Franco-American Union, comprised of French and American supporters, to help raise money for the statue.

He also recruited Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, soon to become famous for the Eiffel Tower, to design the steel and iron framework to hold the statue up.

Raising the $400,000 he estimated was needed to build the statue in France wasn’t easy. Work stopped frequently when cash ran out, and Bartholdi and his craftspeople missed deadline after deadline.

Then in 1880 the Franco-American Union came up with the idea of holding a “Liberty” lottery to raise funds. That did the trick.

On the other hand in America people were confused and many even thought statue is French and not needed even if it’s given free.

The U.S. Congress did vote unanimously to accept the gift from France … but it didn’t provide any funding for the pedestal, and neither did the city of New York. Neither did the state.

In 1883 the U.S. Congress voted down a fresh attempt to provide $100,000 toward the cost of the pedestal; the vote so outraged Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, that he launched a campaign in the pages of his newspaper to raise the money.

“The Bartholdi statue will soon be on its way to enlighten the world,” he told his readers, “more appropriate would be the gift of a statue of parsimony than a statue of liberty, if this is the appreciation we show of a friendly nation’s sentiment and generosity.” After two months of non-stop haranguing, he managed to raise exactly $135.75 of the $200,000 needed to build the pedestal.

In June of 1884, work on the statue itself was finished. Bartholdi had erected it in a courtyard next to his studio in Paris.

In September 1884 work on the pedestal ground to a halt when the project ran out of money. An estimated $100,000 was still needed.

When it appeared that New York was coming up empty-handed, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco began to compete to have the Statue of Liberty built in their cities.

Furious, Joseph Pulitzer decided to try again. In the two years since his first campaign, his newspaper’s circulation had grown from a few thousand readers to more than 100,000.

He hoped that now his paper was big enough to make a difference. For more than five months, beginning on March 16, 1885, Pulitzer beseeched his readers day after day to send in what they could. No reader was too humble, no donation too small; every person who contributed would receive a mention in the newspaper. “The statue is not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaires of America,” he told readers, “but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America. Take this appeal to yourself personally.”

This time, the campaign began to get results: By March 27, 2,535 people had contributed $2,359.67.

Then on April 1, Pulitzer announced that the ship containing the crated parts of the statue would leave France aboard the French warship Isere on May 8th. The excitement began to build, prompting a new wave of giving.

By April 15, he’d raised $25,000, and a month later another $25,000 – enough money to restart work on the pedestal.

At this point, the makers of Castoria laxative stepped forward to help.

They offered to chip in $25,000, “provided that for the period of one year, you permit us to place across the top of the pedestal the word ‘Castoria.,’” they wrote. “Thus art and science, the symbol of liberty to man, and of health to his children, would more closely enshrined in the hearts of our people.” The offer of a laxative for Miss Liberty was politely declined; Castoria kept its money.

On June 19, the fundraising passed the $75,000 mark; on July 22, the Isere arrived in New York Harbor and began unloading its cargo; bringing the excitement – and the giving – to its peak.

Finally on August 11, Pulitzer’s goal was met. “ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! TRIUMPHANT COMPLETION OF THE WORLD‘S FUND FOR THE LIBERTY PEDESTAL.” More than 120,000 people had contributed to the effort, for an average donation of about 83¢ per person.

Work on the pedestal now moved at a steady clip; by April 1886 it was finished, and the pieces of the statue itself were put into place.

The internal steel and iron framework structure went up first; then the pieces of the statue’s outer skin were attached one by one.

Finally on October 28, 1886, at a ceremony headed by President Grover Cleveland, the statue was opened to the public … more than ten years after the original July 4, 1876 deadline.

Connection of Norway and Statue of Liberty –

Norwegian claim to the statue: Part of its actual construction was overseen by a Norwegian engineer, Joachim Gotsche Giæver, one of the many immigrants to the US.

Another claim by Norwegians is that the copper for the statue came from a mine in Norway, not least by the Olavsrosa Foundation Norwegian Heritage.
Link - http://www.olavsrosa.no/en/objektinfo.aspx?id=27787

there’s actually a replica of the statue in the west-coast community where the mine is located.

The statue at Visnes in Rogaland County, near Haugesund on the island of Karmøy, commemorates not just the real Statue of Liberty but the Vigsnes Mining Field and its vein that provided the copper for the statue.

The vein was discovered in 1865 and it was so productive that it reportedly provided around 70 percent of Norway’s copper export in the late 1800s.

Suggested Reading -

Part 2-
USA statue of liberty History Transportation Last Part

Reality views by sm –

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tags – Statue of Liberty USA France Norway 125th Year Celebration


Usha November 01, 2011  

sm, It was wonderful read to know about history of Statue of Liberty..Statue was installed almost 20 years after it was first talked by Bartholdi and Laboulaye. An average 83cents contribution by 120,000 common public is very inspiring figure. Thanks for this post.