Liberty Weekend


Liberty Weekend

Liberty Weekend was the celebration of the (then) recent restoration and centennial of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, New York. It began on Thursday, July 3 and ended on Sunday, July 6, 1986.

Liberty's Restoration

Opening Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremonies of Liberty Weekend were held on July 3, 1986 at Governor's Island in New York Harbor. Tickets for the occasion cost 5,000 Dollars. French President François Mitterrand showed 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 Iacocca spoke 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 Baryshnikov among others. Ted Koppel of ABC News Nightline presented the Medal of Liberty to outstanding naturalized Americans.

Emil Mosbacher, jr., and Secretary of the Navy John Lehman spoke 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 States swore in emigrants to the United States in a naturalization ceremony on Ellis Island

Operation Sail

On the morning of July 4, 1986 the 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 Orchestra conducted by John Williams conducted a concert of classic American music at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. It also featured musical performances from John Denver, Johnny Cash, Barry Manilow, Joel Grey and numerous others.

This was followed by an address by Reagan aboard the USS John F. Kennedy and 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

On Saturday July 5, 1986 a New York Philharmonic concert was held in Central Park. Earlier in the day First Lady Nancy Reagan had 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 Stadium in New Jersey. The Closing Ceremonies featured a tribute to sports and pop culture.

Broadcast

The entire event was broadcast on ABC with Peter Jennings and Barbara Walters as commentators. ABC News had paid $10 Million for broadcasting rights. CBS also broadcast parts of the event, including Operation Sail 1986.

Pictures



ee also

*Statue of Liberty
*Liberty Fanfare
*Medal of Liberty

External links

*http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/70386d.htm was Ronald Reagan's speech when he unveiled the Statue at Opening Ceremonies.
*http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/70386e.htm was Ronald Reagan's speech when he re-light the Statues torch ushering in the fireworks during Opening Ceremonies.
*http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/70486a.htm was Ronald Reagan's speech on the morning of July 4, during Operation Sail
*http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/70486c.htm was 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 Movies article about the event.
*http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,961667-1,00.html is an article in Time Magazine about the event, written for the July 7, 1986 edition.

ources

*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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