Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Statue of Liberty - A Brief History ~ Great Salt Lake Council - Cub Scout Monthly Themes - PowWow Books - Pack Meeting Plans - Home of the Brave

The Statue of Liberty - A Brief History
 is a bonus page from the 2002 Great Salt Lake Utah Council PowWow book.

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A Brief History
It was the summer of 1865. The United States had just come through four tragic years of a Civil War, but the spirit of
democracy in America had remained strong. Edouard Rene
Lefebvre de Laboulaye, a French intellectual, told his friends that
there existed "a shared commitment to the principles of liberty
between the people of France and the United States." He suggested the idea of a monument to American independence. A young artist,
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, was there that night and the idea caught
his imagination. It would take 21 years, but the spark of that dinner conversation would one day light the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

It was 1871 when Bartholdi finally arrived in New York with a few sketches, showing the proposed statue located on what he believed was the perfect location--the twelve-acre Bedloe Island in the middle of New York Harbor. He traveled all over the United States trying to gain support for his project. He received many other commissions, but Americans were skeptical because of the immense size of the proposed statue.
It took three more years before Edouard de Laboulaye, exercising his considerable influence in France, could inspire enthusiasm for the Liberty project. By 1874, the Union Franco-Americaine had been formed to raise funds. The great project took almost ten years. Finally, on July 4, 1884, she stood complete and magnificent, ready for the ceremonies marking the presentation of the deed. It was a wonderful gift from the people of France to the people of America.
It would be another year before Liberty could be crated to New York. She needed to be sure of a place to stand once she arrived.
Perhaps the Americans were skeptical, or the unhealed wounds of the Civil War affected their generosity, but the people of the United States

did not rally to the cause of providing a base for the giant gift from
France. Little money was forthcoming until Joseph Pulitzer, publisher
of the
New York World, wrote a blistering front-page editorial reminding the nation that this was a gift resulting from the contributions of the
people of France, and that the people of the United States needed to respond in like manner. "Let us not wait for the millionaires to give the money," he wrote. In just five months Pulitzer's appeal to the people raised the needed $100,000. Now, and forever, the statue would truly belong to the American people. Finally on October 28, 1886,
Enlightening the World was unveiled. "The dream of my life is accomplished," Bartholdi told a reporter from the New York World. 

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