Statue of Liberty dedicated

October 28th, 1886

United States

Media & Culture

On October 28, 1886, a tremendous crowd converged in New York Harbor to celebrate the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, which has come to represent a symbol of strength and freedom to millions of immigrants. The statue created by French-sculptor Frederic Bartholdi is a rendition of Libertas (the Roman goddess of liberty). A gift from France, the statue was both a commemoration of international friendship and a celebration of American freedom and democracy in the wake of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. In 1903, an inscription was carved on the base of the statue quoting Jewish poet Emma Lazarus. The inscription reads: “Huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and solidified the statue’s symbolic role to welcome new immigrants to the United States through its busiest port. The statue was declared a national monument in 1924.