The Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, New YorkAn onsite painting of the renovated Statue of Liberty and the harbor celebration on July 4, 1986. In the harbor is the Parade of Tall Ships and overhead, French Air Force jets give the Lady an aerial salute. In the 5 1/2 hour parade up the Hudson River, 22 tall ships from 22 countries were represented. l00 living Americans have family histories linked to the Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty was originally called Liberty Enlightening the World. It was conceived as a gift from
the French to the American people to honor the l886 centennial celebration.
The exterior copper shell, in the form of a classical female figure carrying a torch aloft, was designed by the French sculptor Augusta Bartholdi.
The Statue was dismantled in Paris, her parts meticulously numbered and packed in 214 cases that arrived in New York Harbor on May 21, 1885. It was reassembled and unveiled to the American public in October 28, 1886. Amid speeches, parades, military units, twenty thousand marchers in all, only two women were present. The sculptor's wife and the daughter of Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal and an honored guest. Neither woman was American.
The New York State Suffragette Association could not suffer such an outrage and picketed the opening by hiring a boat to sail within earshot of the Statue. They screamed protests and railed against the all male crowd. But their right to vote would not be a realization until 1920 and Miss Liberty, strange as seems now, would not be officially recognized as a national monument until 1924.