The Statue of Liberty National Monument officially celebrates her birthday today October 28, 1986.  The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States in recognition of the friendship established during the american Revolution.  Over the years, the Statue of Liberty’s symbolism has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship.

Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design a sculpture to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.  Bartholdi required the assistance of an engineer to address structural issues associated with designing the colossal copper sculpture.  Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) was commissioned to design the massive iron pylon and secondary skeletal framework which allows the Statue’s copper skin to move independently yet stand upright.

The Statue was a joint effort between America and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly here in the United States.

The pedestal construction was finished in April of 1886.  The Statue was completed in France in July 1884 and arrived in New York Harbor in June of 1885 on board the French frigate “Isere” which transpired the Statue of Liberty from France to the United States.  In transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates.  The Statue was re-assembled on her new pedestal in four months time.  On October 28th 1886, the dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in front of thousands of spectators.