Lady Liberty on Liberty Island in the NY City Harbor (FILE)
Her cornerstone was laid 136 years ago. She was dedicated 26 months later on Bledloe’s Island, now Liberty Island.
She is, of course, the Statute of Liberty, overlooking New York harbor. A gift from the people of France. She was designed by the sculptor Bartholdi and the interior supporting metal framework was designed and built by Eiffel, as in the Tower
The French built her and shipped her in pieces to New York, but it was up to America to build the supporting pedestal and to put her together again.
You might not be surprised to hear that politicians would not fund the needed $100,000. Cleveland, then New York’s governor vetoed the funding bill and later the US Congress declined to fund it as well.
Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian by birth, then stepped forward and created a grassroots funding effort, with citizens donating money, 5 cents and up. He published each donor’s name in his newspaper. The rest is history.
This Colton map of New York City and its harbor area is from 1855.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.
New York City and its harbor area – 1855 (Credit Steve Kovacs)