The Statue of Liberty was first conceived at a dinner party in France in 1865. It would be ten years later in 1975 before the construction of the statue was begun.
Early fundraising attempts did not go well. Governor Grover Cleveland of New York who would later become the 22nd and 24th president of the United States vetoed a proposal granting $50,000 toward the construction of the Statue of Liberty. Ironically President Grover Cleveland participated in the dedication on October 28, 1886 despite having have vetoed the bill raising money for the statue when governor of New York.
Joseph Pulitzer started a drive to raise $100,000 for the construction of the statue. Residents at a home for alcoholics in Brooklyn donated $15 and they were one of the larger contributors since 120,000 donors donated a total of $102,000.
Countless immigrants to the United States have been welcomed to our country and New York City as they enter the New York harbor. It is considered by some as the most iconic landmark signifying the freedom Americans have experienced with the Liberty Bell perhaps being first or second most significant landmark representing the freedom Americans cherish to others.
The torch was seldom illuminated during World War II due to wartime blackouts.
Due to structural problems the Statue of Liberty was restored from 1984 till it was rededicated by President Ronald Reagan in July of 1986. It is scheduled to be closed again in 2011 for construction of an emergency staircase to expedite evacuation of the landmark.
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 make Americans appreciate even more our freedom and the Statue of Liberty standing in New York harbor remind me of the immigrants who have moved to the United States to make a new life and have become citizens of the United States.
The Statue of Liberty has also welcomed many of our troops returning from war overseas and is a symbol of the liberty those soldiers from all the branches of the armed forces have fought for and in too many cases have fought and died for.
God bless America!!