The Statue of Liberty completed a hundred years on October 28, 1886. The statue was gifted to the people of the United States by the citizens of France. This was done in order to recognize the friendship that was established during the times of the American Revolution. However, during the course of years the symbolism associated with the Statue of Liberty has increased. It has come to mean a symbol of freedom and democracy.
Master sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, was assigned the task of designing a structure to commemorate 100 years of the American Declaration of Independence. The structure was to be completed by 1876. The statue was a result of collaboration between the French and the Americans. The task of building the pedestal was assigned to the Americans. The French took the responsibility for creating the statue. The assembly of the statue was done in the United States. Both France and the United States suffered from an early lack of funds. Various forms of entertainment were organized in France in order to raise funds. Public fees and a lottery system, too, were approved. In the United States, several theatre events and art exhibitions were held. Auctions and prize fights helped in acquiring those much-needed funds.
Bartholdi was in need of the assistance of an engineer in France to counter some of the structural issues that were associated with the construction of a mammoth, copper structure. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who was the designer of the Eiffel Tower, was assigned the task of designing the enormous iron pylon and the skeletal framework that is secondary in nature. This permits the copper skin of the Statue to move independently and stand upright at the same time.
In the United States, raising of funds for the pedestal was moving at a snail’s pace. Therefore, Joseph Pulitzer, who is renowned for the Pulitzer Prize, dedicated the editorial pieces of his newspaper, entitled The World, to support the cause of fund raising. Pulitzer in his paper condemned the rich as well as the middle class.
The rich had failed to gather money for the construction of the pedestal, while the middle class seemed to be content to depend on the rich for the funds. Pulitzer adopted a campaign of criticism, which was successful for the motivation of Americans to donate.
In the year 1885, funds for the pedestal were in place. The construction of the pedestal was completed in April 1886. The Statue was sculpted in France in 1884. It arrived at New York Harbor in June 1885 through the French frigate ‘Isere’. During transit, the statue was dismantled into 350 pieces. These pieces were packed in 214 crates. The re-assembling of the Statue was completed in four months. The Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated to the people of the United States on October 28th 1886. Thousands of people witnessed the event. The Statue thus became a centennial gift.