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Knowledge in context, June 17, 2020

Other Gifts from France

It might be the most conspicuous, but the Statue of Liberty is far from France's only gift to the United States.

The Lancelot of the Revolutionary set
The Marquis de Lafayette joined the Continental Army when he was just 19, but he became one of Washington's most trusted generals.

Guns and ships
Yes, another Hamilton reference. The French naval victory at the Battle of Chesapeake made possible the Franco-American victory at Yorktown.

The Creole Goddess
Josephine Baker renounced her American citizenship and built a new life in France, but returned to the U.S. (after serving as an agent of the French Resistance) to participate in the civil rights movement.

All those D.C. traffic circles
Pierre L'Enfant served in the Continental Army and created the urban plan for the new American capital.

The Statue of Liberty Arrives in the United States

The colossal monument to the friendship between the United States and France reached New York on June 17, 1885. It was constructed in Paris under sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. Architect Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and engineer Gustave Eiffel designed the four gigantic steel supports on which sheets of copper were hammered. The statue was disassembled, shipped to the U.S., and then rebuilt in New York over the next year. President Grover Cleveland finally dedicated the sculpture on October 28, 1886.


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