Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ceremony Of Dedication And Lady Liberty Enlightening The World - Torch Cams To Give Masses Views From Statue Of Liberty

This undated photo provided by EarthCam, shows the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, in New York, through a fisheye lens mounted in its torch. Five torch cams will be switched on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, during a ceremony to commemorate the statue's dedication. The five cameras, which will be on 24 hours, 7 days a week, were donated to the National Park Service by Earthcam Inc., a New Jersey-based company that manages a network of webcams around the world. (AP Photo/EarthCam, James Nicoll)

Give me your tired, your poor - your Internet-connected masses yearning to see. Lady Liberty is getting high-tech gifts for her 125th birthday: webcams on her torch that will let viewers gaze out at New York Harbor and read the tablet in her hands or see visitors on the grounds of the island below in real time.

The five torch cams are to be switched on Friday during a ceremony to commemorate the dedication of the Statue of Liberty on Oct. 28, 1886. The ceremony caps a week of events centered around the historic date, including the debut of a major museum exhibition about poet Emma Lazarus, who helped bring the monument renown as the "Mother of Exiles."

The statue's webcams will offer views from the torch that have been unavailable to the public since 1916, said Stephen A. Briganti, the president of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Inc.

"The statue is the most famous symbol in the world," he said. "Most of the people in the world have seen it, but they have not seen it like this. It will be a visit that so many people, including New Yorkers, have never taken before."

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The Statue Of Liberty was presented in 1884 as a gift from the French Grand Orient Temple Masons to the Masons of America in celebration of the centenary of the first Masonic Republic.

Unveiling of the Statue - of Liberty Enlightening the World (1886) by Edward Moran. Oil on canvas. The J. Clarence Davies Collection, Museum of the City of New York.

Dedication

A ceremony of dedication was held on the afternoon of October 28, 1886. President Grover Cleveland, the former New York governor, presided over the event. On the morning of the dedication, a parade was held in New York City; estimates of the number of people who watched it ranged from several hundred thousand to a million. President Cleveland headed the procession, then stood in the reviewing stand to see bands and marchers from across America. General Stone was the grand marshal of the parade. The route began at Madison Square, once the venue for the arm, and proceeded to Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan by way of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, with a slight detour so the parade could pass in front of the World building on Park Row. As the parade passed the New York Stock Exchange, traders threw ticker tape from the windows, beginning the New York tradition of the ticker-tape parade.

A nautical parade began at 12:45 p.m., and President Cleveland embarked on a yacht that took him across the harbor to Bedloe's Island for the dedication. De Lesseps made the first speech, on behalf of the French committee, followed by the chairman of the New York committee, Senator William M. Evarts. A French flag draped across the statue's face was to be lowered to unveil the statue at the close of Evarts's speech, but Bartholdi mistook a pause as the conclusion and let the flag fall prematurely. The ensuing cheers put an end to Evarts's address. President Cleveland spoke next, stating that the statue's "stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man's oppression until Liberty enlightens the world". Bartholdi, observed near the dais, was called upon to speak, but he refused. Orator Chauncey M. Depew concluded the speechmaking with a lengthy address.

No members of the general public were permitted on the island during the ceremonies, which were reserved entirely for dignitaries. The only females granted access were Bartholdi's wife and de Lesseps's granddaughter; officials stated that they feared women might be injured in the crush of people. The restriction offended area suffragists, who chartered a boat and got as close as they could to the island. The group's leaders made speeches applauding the embodiment of Liberty as a woman and advocating women's right to vote. A scheduled fireworks display was postponed until November 1 because of poor weather.


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