The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the United States of America. The statue was erected and dedicated in 1886.
A number of individuals played a vital role in the conception and creation of the statue.
Edouard Rene de Laboulaye was a French thinker and author.
Laboulaye deeply appreciated the United States and the constitution of the country. He believed that the country truly embodied the ideals of liberty, democracy and freedom.
During the American Civil War, Laboulaye actively supported the abolitionist cause and the Union. In 1865, he came up with the idea of creating a statue which would represent liberty. Laboulaye proposed that such a statue should be a gift from France to the people of United States. His idea later led to the creation of the Statue of Liberty.
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was the famous sculptor who designed and oversaw the creation of the Statue of Liberty.
Bartholdi was inspired by the idea put forth by Laboulaye. He proposed the creation of a statue as a gift for United States during his trip to US in 1871.
His proposal met with approval and funds were raised across France to create such a statue. Bartholdi was subsequently tasked with the design and creation of the statue. Once the statue was complete, it was shipped to the United States. Bartholdi was present at the dedication ceremony in 1886.
Gustave Eiffel was a civil engineer from France who is most famously known for creating the Eiffel Tower.
When creating the Statue of Liberty, Bartholdi was assisted by Gustave Eiffel. Eiffel was instrumental in creating the internal support structure for the statue.
He designed the internal structure so that it was flexible enough to withstand changes in temperature and weather. Thanks to Eiffel’s design, the statue has endured through more than a century with little to no damage to its actual structure.
Joseph John Pulitzer was an American publisher who published the New York World.
After the Statue of Liberty had been completed, it was decided that the statue should be erected on a large pedestal. The pedestal was to be funded and commissioned by the United States.
Many appeals to raise the funds failed. Joseph Pulitzer than launched an appeal to collect $100,000 in donations for the pedestal. He pledged to publish the name of every contributor.
His newspaper’s campaign played a crucial role in raising the funds which helped in the building of the pedestal.
Emma Lazarus was a noted American poet.
During the fund-raising campaign for the Statue of Liberty, Lazarus was asked to done an original piece of work. She ended up contributing the poem titled ‘The New Colossus’, written specifically for the statue.
The poem was inscribed on a plaque and placed in the Statue of Liberty Museum. It vividly paints the statue as the embodiment of liberty and freedom for immigrants and others seeking freedom.