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The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of American independence. It has become an iconic symbol of freedom and of the United States. Fundraising for the statue proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the statue's pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the World initiated a drive for donations to complete the project, and the campaign inspired over 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and reassembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island. Its completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland. (more...)

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