- Liberty Weekend
Liberty Weekend was the celebration of the (then) recent restoration and centennial of the
Statue of Libertyin New York City, New York. It began on Thursday, July 3and ended on Sunday, July 6, 1986.
The Opening Ceremonies of Liberty Weekend were held on
July 3, 1986at Governor's Islandin New York Harbor. Tickets for the occasion cost 5,000 Dollars. French President François Mitterrandshowed up to give his well wishes to the American people. Secretary of the Interior Donald Hodel(The Interior is the Government agency responsible for the statue), Executive Producer David Wolper, and [the Chairman of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Lee Iacoccaspoke with the latter introducing the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
Reagan spoke of the friendship between France and the United States with an emphasis on the workers conducted the restoration work. He then unveiled the Statue for the first time since its restoration. This was followed by musical performances by
Neil Diamond(who sang They're Coming to America), Frank Sinatra(who sang The House I Live In, and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikovamong others. Ted Koppelof ABC News Nightline presented the Medal of Libertyto outstanding naturalized Americans. Emil Mosbacher, jr., and Secretary of the Navy John Lehmanspoke of the following days events and President Reagan spoke again, this time symbolically lighting the torch of the Statue of Liberty. This was followed by a fireworks display set to Stars and Stripes Forever. Warren Burger, Chief Justice of the United Statesswore in emigrants to the United States in a naturalization ceremonyon Ellis Island
On the morning of
July 4, 1986the battleships and sailing ships of old took part in a naval revue down the Hudson River. The President viewed the ships from the USS Iowa. He saw the ships as a personification of freedom and liberty:
Perhaps, indeed, these vessels embody our conception of liberty itself: to have before one no impediments, only open spaces; to chart one's own course and take the adventure of life as it comes; to be free as the wind -- as free as the tall ships themselves. It's fitting, then, that this procession should take place in honor of Lady Liberty.
Americana Music Concert and Fireworks
Later on, the
Boston Pops Orchestraconducted by John Williamsconducted a concert of classic American music at Liberty State Parkin New Jersey. It also featured musical performances from John Denver, Johnny Cash, Barry Manilow, Joel Greyand numerous others.
This was followed by an address by Reagan aboard the
USS John F. Kennedyand a 30 or so minute fireworks display, the highlight of the night. At the time it was the largest in American history.
July 5 and closing ceremonies
July 5, 1986a New York Philharmonicconcert was held in Central Park. Earlier in the day First Lady Nancy Reaganhad re-opened the Statue to the public accompanied by 100 French and American School children. The following day, the Closing Ceremonies grand finale took place at Giants Stadiumin New Jersey. The Closing Ceremonies featured a tribute to sports and pop culture.
The entire event was broadcast on ABC with
Peter Jenningsand Barbara Waltersas commentators. ABC Newshad paid $10 Million for broadcasting rights. CBSalso broadcast parts of the event, including Operation Sail1986.
Statue of Liberty
Medal of Liberty
Ronald Reagan's speech when he unveiled the Statue at Opening Ceremonies.
Ronald Reagan's speech when he re-light the Statues torch ushering in the fireworks during Opening Ceremonies.
Ronald Reagan's speech on the morning of July 4, during Operation Sail
Ronald Reagan's speech on the night of July 4 on the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67).
*http://www.tcmdb.com/title/title.jsp?stid=465785 is a
Turner Classic Moviesarticle about the event.
*http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,961667-1,00.html is an article in
Time Magazineabout the event, written for the July 7, 1986 edition.
*Liberty Weekend. ABC. KOVR. 3-6 July 1986.
*Liberty Weekend: Commemorative Edition. Videocassette. ABC Video Enterprises, 1986.
*Bond, L.E. Statue of Liberty: Beacon of Promise. Santa Barbra, CA: Albion Group, 1990. 34-37.
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