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Jun 17 2020 - 02:44 PM
Today In History: Statue of Liberty Arrives in New York Harbor

The New Colossus

-- Emma Lazarus

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!”

-- from The Poetry Foundation

Early in the morning of June 17th, 1885 the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor, having journeyed through stormy weather, long across the rough seas of the Atlantic Ocean by Isere, a wooden man-of-war vessel that anchored in the Horseshoe located off Sandy Hook. Made of copper and iron, the statue was a gift from France that symbolized freedom and democracy, as well as a century of friendship with the United States. Nicknamed "Lady Liberty", the statue weighed in at over 450,000 pounds packed into 200 cases, requiring major assembly, and over time much restoration. Frederic August Bartholdi designed this monumental piece with assistance from Gustav Eiffel in remembrance of the American Revolution.

The Statue of Liberty is one of our nation's most famous landmarks, drawing visitors from all over the world, sparking creativity of thought, and discussion of our values and heritage. American poet, writer, translator, and activist for Jewish causes, Emma Lazarus composed a sonnet in 1883 whose lines were inscribed in a plaque placed on the pedestal of Lady Liberty in 1903. The iconic robed female figure uplifting a torch combined with poetry beneath signal hope and opportunity for new immigrants and American citizens living in a diverse land.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.




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