1886 Statue of Liberty dedicated The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, is dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland. Originally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” the statue was proposed by the French historian Edouard de Laboulaye to commemorate the Franco-American alliance during the American Revolution. Designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the 151-foot statue was the form of a woman with an uplifted arm holding a torch. Its framework of gigantic steel supports was designed by Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the latter famous for his design of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In February 1877, Congress approved the use of a site on New York Bedloe’s Island, which was suggested by Bartholdi. In May 1884, the statue was completed in France, and three months later the Americans laid the cornerstone for its pedestal in New York Harbor. In June 1885, the dismantled Statue of Liberty arrived in the New World, enclosed in more than 200 packing cases. Its copper sheets were reassembled, and the last rivet of the monument was fitted on October 28, 1886, during a dedication presided over by President Cleveland and attended by numerous French and American dignitaries. On the pedestal was inscribed “The New Colossus,” a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus that welcomed immigrants to the United States with the declaration, “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.” In 1892, Ellis Island, adjacent to Bedloe’s Island, opened as the chief entry station for immigrants to the United States, and for the next 32 years more than 12 million immigrants were welcomed into New York harbor by the sight of “Lady Liberty.” In 1924, the Statue of Liberty was made a national monument, and in 1956 Bedloe’s Island was renamed Liberty Island. The statue underwent a major restoration in the 1980s. 1965 Workers complete the famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri On this day in 1965, workers “top out” the final section of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, completing construction of the nation’s tallest memorial after four years of work. A graceful 603-foot high ribbon of gleaming stainless steel, the Gateway Arch spans 630 feet at the ground and is meant to symbolically mark the gateway from the eastern United States to the West. Architect Eero Saarinen’s dramatic design was chosen during a 1947 competition, and has since become a landmark famous around the world. The Gateway Arch is the most prominent feature of St. Louis’s Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park, which also includes an Underground Visitors Center featuring exhibits charting the 100-year history of America’s westward expansion. Although St. Louis was by no means the only jumping-off point for emigrants moving westward, during much of the 19th century the city’s advantageous location, just below the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, made it an important hub for much of the nation’s western expansion. Most famously, Lewis and Clark began their exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory when they departed from St. Louis in May 1804, and Zebulon Pike also started his western explorations there in 1805. Once these famous trailblazers had shown the way, thousands of other followed in their footsteps. For a time, St. Louis was also a center for the fur trade, as the mountain men scoured the western streams and lakes for valuable animals and sent their skins back East through the city. As the tide of easterners emigrating West steadily grew, St. Louis also became a popular jumping-off point for the main overland trails to Santa Fe, California, and Oregon. The arrival of the first steamboat, the Pike, along the docks of St. Louis in 1817 began the city’s role as a hub for steam-powered water transportation along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Railroads, too, ensured that St. Louis would be an important transportation center for the second half of the 19th century. However, railroads also made it possible for the upstart city of Chicago to begin challenging St. Louis’s role as the gateway to the West. With its easy access to the extensive network of eastern lakes, canals, and railroads, after 1850 Chicago began to supplant St. Louis as the major railway hub and economic center of the West.