One hundred twenty-five years ago today, the Statue of Liberty was unveiled in New York Harbor and, to celebrate, there was a naturalization ceremony of 125 new citizens from 40 different countries this morning, a flotilla of ships starting at 10 a.m. (from Pier 40 to the statue), and, finally, at 7:45 p.m. fireworks!
The NY Times writes that the 1886 unveiling was a festive event, with President Grover Cleveland on hand; an article from the next day said, "All day yesterday people came to the city in droves to participate in to-day’s celebration. Extra heavily loaded trains, much behind schedule time, were the rule on every railroad entering the city. Every hotel was crowded to its utmost capacity last night, and there was hardly one of the better known hotels which did not have to turn away hundreds of would be guests."
Here's is Emma Lazarus' 1883 poem, "New Colossus," which is mounted at the statue:
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!"
And if you can't wait a year to see inside the Statue of Liberty, here are our photos from visiting the crown last year.