The Statue of Liberty is a statue on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, in Manhattan, New York City. Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886, the statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France.
There are a few different things to do when visiting the Statue of Liberty. Visitors can access Liberty Island and take guided ranger tours, audio tours, or self-guided tours, and this is included in the ferry ticket price. There are also crown and pedestal tickets available and these allow visitors to either visit the crown or pedestal area of the statue, the museum, and the fort wood level. Many people also enjoy going to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which tells the story of the 12 million immigrants who came to the United States for a better life.
The Statue of Liberty is a historical icon of freedom for the United States. It is a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.
Bartholdi's inspiration for the statue came from a comment made by Édouard René de Laboulaye who was a French Law professor and politician. He was said to have commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples.
The work on the statue did not begin until the early 1870's, and in 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the site and build the pedestal. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions.
Two places that displayed the torch-bearing arm were the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, in 1876, and in New York's Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882. The fundraising for the statue was difficult, especially for Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World started a drive for donations to complete the project that attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar.
The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island. The statue's completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.