June 17, 1885 – The Statue of Liberty Arrives in the New York Harbor

On this day in history, The Statue of Liberty, disassembled in Paris for shipment to the United States, arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French navy ship Isère. The Statue was met with tremendous fanfare and a naval parade, but was placed in storage for a year while the pedestal was completed. It was finally unveiled at a dedication ceremony on October 28, 1886.


The words of the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus were not inscribed on the statue until 1903.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

You can read more details about the history of the Statue of Liberty here.


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