Postcard History: Statue of Liberty Dedication

By Carla Charter

NEW YORK CITY HARBOR- October 28, 1886, a municipal holiday in New York City, dawned foggy and damp.  However, that did not stop one million New Yorkers from turning out to cheer the dedication of the Statue of Liberty.

Among the special guests attending the dedication were U.S. President and former New York Governor, Grover Cleveland, French Viscount Ferdinand de Lesseps, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the Statue of Liberty

U.S. Senators from New York, William Maxwell Evarts and Chauncey Mitchell Depew.

Lady Liberty was projected to take five years and cost 250,000 francs to complete In reality however construction of the statue took fifteen years and 400,000 francs to complete.

During the Statues Dedication day, there were parades on both land and sea.  When the parade passed Wall Street, traders threw ticker tape from their windows, starting a tradition that continues to this day.  The parade also marched by Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World headquarters.  The newspaper had raised substantial funds for the Statue of Liberty project, mainly by small amounts donated by their readers.

During the official dedication at the base of the statue, Unites States warships saluted her in the harbor.   When Bartholdi released the tri-color French flag that veiled Lady Liberty’s face a roar of guns, whistles, and applause sounded.

Today the Statue of Liberty still stands as a beacon of freedom, attracting visitors from around the world.  More information on the Statue of Liberty can be found at the National Park Service Statue of Liberty website:  https://www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm