October 28th in NYC History - Statue of Liberty dedicated and reopens. Happy Bday Jonas Salk.
Posted: Oct 28, 2012 | 4:49 PM
by Jared Goldstein
1886: Happy Birthday Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
She is a gift from the people of France, and her official name is La Liberté éclairant le monde, Liberty Enlightening the World, a symbol of solidarity with the world's remaining original constitutional democracy. In 1789 France and the USA pioneered modern democracy after the French helped the USA gain independence from England from 1776-1783. The French were subsequently ruled by dictators.
Napoleon III hated the USA and nearly sided with the pro-slavery Confederacy South during the Civil War. He did not broach criticism, but could not stop children and adults from raising money for a gift. The effort to fund the statue's development was both a symbol of resistance to oppression and a vehicle to organize against it. She walks free of shackles towards France.
She was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland, celebrated with NYC's first ticker tape parade up Broadway, the Canyon of Heroes,
as well as the French and US Navies.
as well as fireworks.
Immigrants adopted the Statue, nearly literally, as they paid for its construction and base (in a bold modern neo-grec style contemporary with the statue inspiration, by the Dean of American Architecture, and Ecole des Beaux Arts graduate, Richard Morris Hunt), despite the immigrants' poverty.
They imbued the Statue with new meaning: a symbol of welcome for the "tired...poor, huddled masses yearning to be free" of persecution and poverty.
People enjoy my recitation of Emma Lazarus' poem, "The New Colossus," excerpted above.
Sometimes I pronounce the poem in the accent of an old Jewish lady immigrant.
Is this Statue the biggest and best gift in history? Symbolizing noble concepts? Such statues in history were victory and suppression statues, or those of vain people.
(I don't agree with the editorial at the end of this link.)
1914: Dr. Jonas Salk, who invented the Polio Vaccine, addressing the horrific and feared disease causing death or painful disability for tens of thousands of Americans each year, was born. He was a hero of the USA and the world. He grew up in modest circumstances in the Bronx and graduate City College. He died in 1995.
He founded the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA.
1939: Happy Birthday to Jane Alexander, actress and former National Endowment for the Arts chair.
1944: Happy Birthday to Dennis Franz, Actor from "NYPD Blue."
1979: Dick Howser replaces Billy Martin as Yankees Manager. Billy Martin lost the job the second time because he assaulted a marshmallow salesman in Minneapolis.