The Statue of Liberty National Monument officially celebrated her 100th birthday on October 28, 1986. The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States over one hundred years ago in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship.
Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design a sculpture with the year 1876 in mind for completion, to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. The Statue was a joing effort between America and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the Frenchpeople were responsible for the Statue and its assembly here in the United States.
However, lack of funds was a problem on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in France, public fees, various forms of entertainment, and a lottery were among the methods used to raise funds.
In the United States, benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions and prize fights assisted in providing needed funds. Meanwhile in France, Bartholdi required the assistance of an engineer to address structural issues associated with designing such a 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. Back in America, fund raising for the pedestal was going particularly slowly, so Joseph Pulitzer opened up the editorial pages of his newspaper to criticize both the ritch who had failed to finance the pedestal construction and the middle class who were content to relyupon the wealthy to provide the funds. Pulitzer's campaign of harsh criticism was successful In motivating the people of...