The majestic image of the Statue of Liberty is so firmly connected with the United States that it is hard to imagine it being anywhere else. In fact, the USA received Lady Liberty only when its designer’s first choice rejected the gift.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi visited Egypt as a young man and became captivated by the plans to build a canal that would link the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. In 1867 he met Egyptian leadership and proposed a spectacular statue to stand at the entrance of the Suez Canal. The statue would be a colossal woman, holding up a lamp and wearing a loose-fitting dress.
Despite his best pitch, the offer was rejected. Bartholdi then went to the United States to see if he might generate some interest there.
Little did he know that his second choice for his statue’s home would ultimately embrace that very statue as the symbol for the land of second chances.