6. The Statue of Liberty’s arm and torch were displayed in Madison Square for six years

Statue of Liberty Torch in Madison Square
The Statue of Liberty’s torch in Madison Square. Image via the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

Though it’s now a national symbol and popular tourist destination, the Statue of Liberty had a difficult road to construction. Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Gustav Eiffel, the Statue of Liberty arrived in pieces from France. Starting in 1876 until 1882, the Statue of Liberty’s arm and torch were displayed in Madison Square Park to raise money for the construction of the statue and its base.

For a short while, it seemed as though the arm was all that America could get its hands on. Along with New York, Philadelphia and Boston fought over access to the arm. Though on October 28, 1886, the full Statue of Liberty was installed and dedicated on Liberty Island.