The Statue of Liberty’s Story in a Timeline

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1865: French historian Edouard de Laboulaye suggests that France create a statue to give to the United States to celebrate its success in building a democracy.



1870: The French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi begins sketching the Statue of Liberty.


Image Courtesy of Sanseiya (

1878: Statue’s head and shoulders are completed and displayed at the Paris Universal Exposition.

1885: Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City from France.



1886: President Grover Cleveland officially dedicates the Statue of Liberty at a ceremony.


“Statue of Liberty Unveiled” by Edward Moran | Image Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York (


1892: The U.S. government opens an immigration station on Ellis Island.



1903: The poem “The New Colussus” by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) is inscribed at the base of the statue.



2011: 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.



Learn more about the Statue of Liberty on our Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour!


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