“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands.
One nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.”

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born.  July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.  Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the “land of the free and the home of the brave” so they can begin their American Dream.

Image from Fact Of The Day Website

The United States is truly a diverse nation that is made up of dynamic people.  Every year on July 4, Americans celebrate that FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE with family gatherings, barbecues, picnics.  With such growing technology we are learning through the internet about and communicating with people of different nations, with different languages and different races throughout the whole world while bringing the world closer with understanding and knowledge can only benefit all nations.

Let’s us never forget the men and women who are fighting to protect OUR HONOR, OUR FREEDOM AND OUR COUNTRY!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!

 

The “New Colossus” The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.

The New Colossus
Famous Poem by
Emma Lazarus in 1883
statue dedicated in 1886

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!”

A Short Story “Coming to America”

Just to add my own personal story, one that I am very proud of;

I remember seeing the Statue of Liberty when my parents, my brother and I came to America from Germany on April 30, 1958, on a ship called the “SS Berlin”. We arrived in New York in the late afternoon and I remember standing on the pier looking back at the statue which appeared smaller than when we first passed it, just a few hours earlier. I also remember taking a taxi to our first residence in Manhattan in a neighborhood I learned later was called “The Bowery”. It was a small apartment that our sponsors, The Lutheran Church of America” had procured for us.

The Bowery in 1958 was not as it is today. There was widespread and open use of alcohol in that neighborhood and I remember having to step over a man who was sleeping it off on the steps of the door to our building. …a bit scary for a child not even 9 years old. My parents worked day and night for 4 months to get us out of there and into a better apartment.

What I remember of the day we came to America is that I was really scared being in a different country and not speaking any English.  By the time I started school, however, I already knew some sentences which made it easier for me to make friends. Just 5 years later, I am proud to say we became Americans when we received our citizenship in 1963

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor born in Alsace. He created many monumental sculptures, his most famous work was the Statue of Liberty. The statue is constructed of copper sheets which are assembled on a framework of steel supports designed by Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. For transit to America, the figure was disassembled into 350 pieces and packed in 214 crates. Four months later, it was reassembled on Bedloe’s Island (renamed Liberty Island in 1956). On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty before thousands of spectators. Since the 1892 opening of nearby Ellis Island Immigration Station, Bartholdi’s Liberty has welcomed more than 12,000,000 immigrants to America. Emma Lazarus’s famous lines engraved on the statue’s pedestal are linked to our conception of the statue Americans call “Lady Liberty”:

Frederic Bartholdi’s design patent for the Statue of Liberty

In 1865 a young French sculptor named Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi went to a banquet near the town of Versailles, where he struck up a conversation with Edouard de Laboulaye, a prominent historian. De Laboulaye, a great admirer of the United States, observed that the country’s centennial was approaching in 1876. He thought it would be a good idea for France to present America with a gift to commemorate the occasion. Bartholdi proposed a giant statue of some kind and thought about it for the next six years. The Statue was a joint effort between America and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the French people 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.

Bartholdi went back to work. He founded a group called the Franco-American Union, comprised of French and American supporters, to help raise money for the statue. He also recruited Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, soon to become famous for the Eiffel Tower, to design the steel and iron framework to hold the statue up.

In the United States, things were harder. There was some enthusiasm, but not as much as in France. It was, after all, a French statue  and not everyone was sure the country needed a French statue, even for free. The U.S. Congress did vote unanimously to accept the gift from France, but it didn’t provide any funding for the pedestal, and neither did the city of New York. Neither did the state.

By now, the Statue of Liberty’s right hand and torch were finished, so Bartholdi shipped it to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition and had it put on display. For a fee of 50¢, visitors could climb a 30-foot steel ladder up the side of the hand and stand on the balcony surrounding the torch. Two years later the statue’s head was displayed in a similar fashion in Paris, giving people a chance to climb up into the head and peek out from the windows in the crown. But while events like these generated a lot of enthusiasm, they didn’t raise as much money as Bartholdi hoped for.

In 1883 the U.S. Congress voted down a fresh attempt to provide $100,000 toward the cost of the pedestal; the vote so outraged Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, that he launched a campaign in the pages of his newspaper to raise the money.

“The Bartholdi statue will soon be on its way to enlighten the world,” he told his readers, “more appropriate would be the gift of a statue of parsimony than a statue of liberty, if this is the appreciation we show of a friendly nation’s sentiment and generosity.” After two months of non-stop haranguing, he managed to raise exactly $135.75 of the $200,000 needed to build the pedestal.

By now the centennial was only two years away. It was obvious that the huge statue couldn’t be designed, financed, built, shipped, and installed on Bedloe’s Island in time for the big celebration. But Bartholdi kept going anyway.

Raising the $400,000 he estimated was needed to build the statue in France wasn’t easy. Work stopped frequently when cash ran out, and Bartholdi and his craftspeople missed deadline after deadline. Then in 1880 the Franco-American Union came up with the idea of holding a “Liberty” lottery to raise funds. That did the trick.

NOTHING TO STAND ON

In June of 1884, work on the statue itself was finished. Bartholdi had erected it in a courtyard next to his studio in Paris. The original plan had been to dismantle it as soon as it was completed, pack it into shipping crates, and send it to the United States, where it would be installed atop the pedestal on Bedloe’s Island, but the pedestal wasn’t even close to being finished. So Bartholdi left the statue standing in the courtyard.Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

Construction of Statue

COMING TO AMERICA By 1871, Bartholdi had most of the details worked out in his mind. The American monument would be a colossal statue of a woman called “Liberty Enlightening the World.” It would be paid for by the French people, and the pedestal that it stood on would be financed and built by the Americans.

Did you know?

the Statue of Liberty was built to withstand hurricane-force winds with copper skin less than two pennies thick? And that’s not all you may not know about this American icon.

It is alledged that Miss Liberty of Statue-of-Liberty fame wasn’t always imagined as the scowling, linebacker-throated Midwestern matron of steely spiky Germanic stock that she is today. She was supposed to look like an Arab peasant, robed in the folds of Muslim precepts. She wasn’t even supposed to be eternally standing at the entrance of New York Harbor, welcoming new arrivals to the New World. She was supposed to be the welcome ma’am at the entrance of the Suez Canal in Egypt, that her name was supposed to be either Egypt or Progress, and that the flame she was brandishing was to symbolize the light she was bringing to Asia, which had claims to newness all its own.

Illustration from U.S. Patent D11023, Filed Jan 2, 1870 by Bartholdi

Lighting the Way to Asia

All this from the imaginative scruffles of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the Alsatian-French sculptor who’d fallen in love with his own Orientalist fantasies about the Middle East after a trip to Egypt’s Luxor spreads in 1855. He liked Egypt’s colossal sculptures, those “granite beings of imperturpable majesty” with their eyes seemingly “fixed on the limitless future.” He liked just as much the then-fashionable notions of Europeans thinking themselves the “Orient”‘s best thing since unsliced baklava. Bartholdi returned to Egypt in 1869 with the blueprints for a toga-draped giant of a woman who’d double-up as a lighthouse at the entrance of the Suez Canal, which opened that year to fanfare and (British and French) stockholders’ delight.

The Suez Canal may have been in Egypt. But Egypt wasn’t reaping its monetary benefits. The American Civil War had done wonders for Egyptian wealth thanks to the blockade of Southern cotton, which turned Egyptian cotton into gold. But the price of cotton crashed after the Civil War and so did Egypt’s economy. Suez revenue could have picked up the slack. Instead, it went into the pockets of European investors (until Egypt’s Gama Abdel Nasser nationalized the waterway in 1956, to the disingenuous fury of France and Britain).

From Lady Egypt to Lady Liberty

As Bartholdi was sketching one likeness of his great statue after another, it became apparent that his plan would never get Egypt’s financing. Bartholdi was crushed. He sailed to New York. And there, as his ship was entering New York Harbor, he saw Bedloe’s Island, deserted, oval-shaped, perfectly positioned to bear his creation. She wouldn’t be Egypt. But she’d still be Barthold’s. He worked out an arrangement with Gustav Eiffel to build the statue in 350 pieces in Paris, for the French government to pay for the statue (that was back when French and Americans had more respect than reproach for each other), and with American donors to pay for the 89-foot pedestal. Bartholdi’s goal was to have the dedication coincide with the centennial of the American Revolution, somewhere around July 4, 1876.

It happened a bit later, on Oct. 28, 1886, with a military, naval and civic parade in Manhattan, ending at the Battery at the tip of the island, with Gen. Charles P. Stone, who as the statue’s American engineer, was essentially its midwife, was the parade’s grand marshal. She was no longer an Egyptian woman. She was “Liberty Enlightening the World.”

New York Inaugurates Liberty

The weather did not cooperate. The rain was so bad that a New York Times editorioal called it “almost a national misfortune” that “robbed the pageant of much of its effect.” Not that U.S. President Grover Cleveland was going to miss a chance to make himself slightly immortal by association with Lady Liberty as he accepted “this grand and imposing work of art,” though in words of granite neither grand nor imposing: “This token of the affection and consideration of the people of France assures us that in our efforts to commend to mankind a government resting upon popular will, we still have beyond the American continent a steadfast ally, while it also demonstrates the kinship of the republic.” At that point the historical record notes that there were loud cheers, not least those wondering who wrote that stuff.

But Cleveland got a bit more colorful in his next salvo: “We are not here today to bow before the representative of a fierce and warlike god, filled with wrath and vengeance, but instead, we contemplate our own peaceful deity keeping watch before the open gates of America.” Well, the battleship Tennessee’s warlike batteries, which had just boomed, notwithstanding. “Instead of grasping in her hands the thunderbolts of terror and of death, she holds aloft the light that illumines the way to man’s enfranchisement.”  Liberty’s light, he concluded, “shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and men’s oppression until liberty shall enlighten the world.”

One last irony: Bedloe’s Island was not officially renamed until many years later, when it became Liberty Island. The year? 1956.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can be seen from the Lower Manhattan Tour given by FREE TOURS BY FOOT!

Read More on the Suez Canal, Where Lady liberty Was Originally to Stand

Bedloe’s Island  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Island

Wiki Link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty

the National Park Service  http://www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm

PBS Timeline  http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/statueofliberty/timeline/

Link to Canal http://middleeast.about.com/od/middleeast101/a/statue-of-liberty-egypt.htm

 

 

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Contributor:  Fred Pickhardt: The “Charging Bull (aka the Wall Street Bull or the Bowling Green Bull) is a large bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica and is an icon in lower Manhattan at the northern entrance to Bowling Green Park near Wall Street. It stands 11 ft. (4.9m) tall, 16 feet (4.9 m) long and weighs in at 7100 lb. (3200 kg).

The sculpture is a symbol of financial optimism and prosperity and has become a popular tourist destination.  Di Modica’s bull represents the “bull market” which is associated with increasing investor confidence, and increased investing in anticipation of future price increases.

The artist, Arturo Di Modica was born in Sicily in 1941 and worked on the sculpture over a two year period, spending $360,000 of his own money.  He installed it without permission in front of the New York Stock Exchange on December 15, 1989 as a Christmas gift to the people of New York City.  The police seized the sculpture and placed it into an impound lot, however, after much public outcry the city installed it two blocks south of the Exchange in the plaza at Bowling Green.

The use of the bull as a symbol of power or strength goes back to antiquity.  Cave paintings in France show that the extinct Auroch or Urus (ancestor of domestic cattle) was likely seen as having some magical qualities or a symbol of strength from pre-historic times. The aurochs survived into the Iron Age in Anatolia (Asia Minor) and the Near East and was worshipped throughout that area as a sacred animal.  The identification of the constellation of Taurus the bull is ancient, dating back perhaps to the late stone age as seen in the cave paintings at Lascaux (dated to roughly 15,000 BCE).

The Bull of Heaven appears in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (written about 2750-2500 BCE).  In Egypt, the bull was worshipped

Taurusurania

as Apis, the most important of all the sacred animals in Egypt and was considered to be the embodiment of  the god Ptah, the god of creation.

The bull is also familiar in Judeo-Christian cultures from the Biblical episode where the golden calf was made by Aaron and worshipped by the Hebrews in the wilderness of Sinai.

Exodus 32:4 “He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt’.”

Our letter “A” likely derives from an early pictograph of a bull or ox head.  The original alphabet was developed by Semitic people living in or near Egypt and quickly spread east and north to the Canaanites, the Hebrews, and the Phoenicians. The Phoenician and proto-Hebrew letter aleph  later became the Greek Alpha and the modern “A”

References

New York Times article   SoHo Gift to Wall St

Taurus  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus

You can see the Charging Bull with FREE WALKING TOURS by Foot (formerly NYCbyFoot) on one of the tours “Lower Manhatten Tour” Here is their calendar of events for this month.  You can check out other months as well.

© 2011 Walking Tour Advisor 2010 Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha