130 years ago today, the Statue of Liberty, a 100th birthday present from France to the United States, arrived in America after a perilous journey across the Atlantic.
Carefully taken apart, the Goddess of Liberty was packed in 214 enormous crates, consigned to the steam-and-sail gunboat Isère for shipment to the U. S. In charge of the shipment was a 19-year-old French lieutenant, Rodolphe Victor de Drambour. No hatches on the little ship were big enough for the enormous crates. He cut open the side of the ship, pushed the dissected goddess straight into the hold. Throughout a 72-hour storm with canvas cut to staysail & spanker, Lieutenant de Drambour stayed on the bridge of his ship, while the crates shifted wildly, threatened any instant to sink him. Two days after his 20th birthday he dropped anchor off Sandy Hook, welcomed by the New York World, the New York Yacht Club, the U. S. Fleet, and a spanking good dinner at the Hoffman House.
Check out some of the photos of what she looked like way back when:
And here’s the paperwork from France to prove it’s ours:
Even Google is in on the festivities and his honoring Lady Liberty on its homepage:
Thank you, France!