- from Statue of Liberty
750L - 890L
It’s 1865. Professor Édouard René Lefebvre de Laboulaye is giving a dinner party at his home near Versailles, France.
He is an expert on the history of the United States, where the Civil War has just ended. Laboulaye is glad that the Union won and slavery has been abolished.
Then the conversation turns to politics. The guests recall how the French had sent soldiers, arms, ships, and money to the U.S. That helped the colonists gain independence from Great Britain. They remark on the long-standing friendship between the two nations. They also talk about their shared love of freedom. After all, between 1789 and 1792, the French had also fought for their freedom in the French Revolution and overthrown King Louis XVI.
Suddenly, Laboulaye has a surprising idea. Why not honor the ideal of democracy and build a monument as a gift from the people of France to the people of the U.S.?
That was the beginning of what would become a 21-year labor of love. That surprising idea became the most powerful symbol of freedom in the world.