THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, a French-American dream

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cover new england

This is an extract of my article, with small photos. You will find the complete article with full-sized photos in my e-book View America: Mid Atlantic

In the travel series View America, this book describes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. Each state is described with its own brief historical background and its main sights, points of interest and tourist attractions.

It is not a traditional travel story, but a non-commercial and more or less objective chronicle of an in-depth exploration of these states. My book does not describe lodgings, restaurants or entertainment, except where these may interact with the narrative. It is illustrated with more than 120 full-sized photos.

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The French Connection

In 1865, nearly 100 years after the Revolution, in France several intellectuals gathered at a dinner of Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye. He opposed the regime of Napoleon III and was a staunch supporter of the French Republic. They praised the American Revolution, that had liberated the Americans from the British yoke.

One of the guests was Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, born in Colmar, France (Alsace) in 1834, a sculptor who made massive statues in a neo-classical Greco-Roman style. This meeting led him to consider a Franco-American initiative to honor the struggle for freedom. The idea of Lady Libertas was born!

Birth of a Statue

Bartholdi chose the technique of the Repoussé, whereby a plate, made of a mixture of copper and bronze, is hammered onto a wooden form. The whole statue would be made up of some 200 plates, which could then be welded together. The iron skeleton was designed by the brilliant engineer Alexandre Auguste Eiffel, who would later design the Eiffel Tower. It would be 46 meters high, weigh 225 tons, and there would be 354 steps to the crown.

the Statue of Liberty 1

the Statue of Liberty 2

The Statue of Liberty

On 28 October 1886 the work was completed, and one million people showed up to admire the statue. Wall Street was the only industry that worked on this day, and hundreds of office boys threw pieces of the stock market's "ticker tape" through the windows, to brighten up the parade.

And that was the birth of the New York Ticker Tape Parade!

Video : The Statue of Liberty

 

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