One of the most iconic symbols of The United States, The Statue of Liberty, arrived to American shores 130 years ago today. But, Lady Liberty was not born in there. She was created by French sculptors Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame, as a present for America's centennial birthday to honor France and America's good relations during the Revolutionary War.
It wasn't until a year after the ship carrying their present entered U.S. waters that the statue was inaugurated. Despite artists' interpretation, the statue did not arrive in one piece. Rather, there were 241 crates containing the steel skeleton and copper skin that was assembled on Bedloe's Island, later called Liberty Island, in New Jersey. Officially named Liberty Enlightening the World, the statue measures 151 feet high and is steel framed with thin copper plates. The pedestal on which she sits was designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt.
The location was chosen for its proximity to Ellis Island, which served as a gateway for millions of immigrants coming to America.
Statue of Liberty
Today in history: The Statue of Liberty arrives to America on June 17, 1885
The forearm and torch of the Statue of Liberty on display at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, 1876. In order to raise funds for the completion of the statue and its pedestal members of the public could pay fifty cents to climb to the balcony of the torch. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images)
Segments of the Statue of Liberty during its construction in the workshop of French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, Paris, France, circa 1880. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1884: The left hand of the Statue of Liberty under construction. Sixty men have worked for almost ten years on the various parts of the statue, not including its designer Frederic Bartholdi and his assistants. Original Publication: From The Strand Magazine. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The feet of the Statue of Liberty arrive on Liberty Island 1885. The statue was a gift from the people of France to the United States, It represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
View of portions of the Statue of Liberty during its construction in the workshop of French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, Paris, France, circa 1880. Bartholdi stands at left. (Photo by Musee Bartholdi/Authenticated News/Getty Images)