Statue of Liberty
The Sun was warm but the wind was chill,
You know how it is with an April day
When the Sun is out and the wind is still,
Your one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over a cloud lit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And your two months back in the middle of March.
-- ROBERT FROST ( 1874 - 1963 )
Greatness sometimes takes outside inspiration as well as outside aid. Born in Colmar, Alsace, on this day in 1834, the sculptor Fredric Auguste Bartholdi became inspired while attending a dinner at the
home of Lefebvre de Laboulaye in 1865. His host suggested that he sculpt a symbol of liberty. Traveling to America in 1871, Bartholdi saw that New York Harbor was the perfect place to erect his vision: a cross between the Colossus of Rhodes and the monumental statues that lined Egypt's Nile River. Although the French government was willing to pay for Barholdi's grand sculpture, the American government had to ask for public donations to fund the construction of the foundation and pedestal. After six years of appeals, work began on the pedestal, but it wasn't finished until publisher Joseph Pulitzer took on the job of fundraising. Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty was completed in 1886. (The statue itself was finished in 1884, although its arm was not properly attached until its restoration in 1984.)