This Day in Pop Culture for June 17

Stature of Liberty

1885: The Statue of Liberty Arrives

It was on this day in 1885 that the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor albeit in pieces packed in various crates. It is estimated that 200,000 people lined up on the docks to see the copper statue’s arrival. Unfortunately, the concrete pedestal for which to hold Lady Liberty, aka “Liberty Enlightening the World,” was finished until April of 1886. After months of construction work, the statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from “the people of France” and designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. It was built by Gustave Eiffel who had a knack for building monuments. The robed figure represents the Roman goddess, Libertas who holds a torch in her right hand above her head while holding a tabula ansata inscribed with Roman numerals (“JULY IV MDCCLXXVI”) which means July, 4 1776, the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Down at her feet lies a broken chain representing freedom. (Image: Image by Armelion from Pixabay)

1994: O.J. Simpson Leads Police on a Slow-Speed Chase

Watching police chases on TV has been a fairly common event for those who live in California, but on this day in 1994, people all around the country were watching police follow a not-so-mysterious white Ford Bronco. Just five days earlier, it was discovered that O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman were brutally murdered outside of her home. Simpson became a chief suspect and had agreed to turn himself in but apparently decided to take a u-turn. Traveling with a friend, A.C. Cowlings, Simpson was carrying his passport, a disguise and $8,750 in cash.  Instead of surrendering to police, Simpson took them on a low-speed chase on the L.A. freeways all the way back to his home in Brentwood.


  • 1898: M.C. Escher (illustrator)
  • 1927: Wally Wood (illustrator)
  • 1943: Barry Manilow (singer)
  • 1944: Randy Johnson (football player)
  • 1951: Joe Piscopo (actor)
  • 1960: Thomas Haden Church (actor)
  • 1963: Greg Kinnear (actor)
  • 1970: Will Forte (actor)
  • 1980: Venus Williams (tennis player)
  • 1997: K.J. Apa (actor)

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