12. "One Frenchman told me the French practically gave us the Statue of Liberty. How do you like that?"

     The Statue of Liberty began as the idea of a group of Frenchmen, shortly after the Civil War. They commissioned a French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, to do the work. A committee of Frenchmen was formed in 1874 to raise funds. Bartholdi recommended the site for the statue -- Bedloe's Island in New York harbor.

     In France, 180 French cities, forty general councils, and thousands of anonymous Frenchmen contributed a quarter of a million dollars (not francs) towards the statue. (The United States raised $280,000.) In 1883, the President of the French Committee, Mr. de Lesseps, officially presented the statue to the American people.