The Statue of Liberty, as many of us know, was a gift from France to the United States. Erected in 1886, it was unveiled with fanfare to commemorate the 100th anniversary of U.S. emancipation from British rule in 1776. Since then, she’s become one of the most symbolically powerful statues the world has ever seen, inextricably linked with the country’s pledge of “liberty and justice for all.” The 151-foot-tall copper figure has also been a galvanizing emblem for immigrants the world over—a piece of art that symbolizes democracy and served to welcome those who arrived in the U.S. through New York’s Ellis Island, as they entered a new home they heard was filled with opportunities that had eluded them elsewhere.
When Charles Higgins, an Irish immigrant turned prominent Brooklyn businessman, conceived of Minerva, he had Lady Liberty—and a statue’s power to bring awareness to history—in mind. At the time, in the early 1900s, Higgins lived not far from Brooklyn’s Battle Hill, the land on which the Battle of Brooklyn—the first and biggest Revolutionary War battle after the signing of the Declaration of Independence—took place in 1776.Read this very cool piece by Alexxa Gotthardt here.