President Obama's first major speech on immigration contained several factual errors.

He concluded his remarks at American University with the moving story of Emma Lazarus, the woman who wrote the sonnet, "The New Colossus," for the Statue of Liberty, in 1883.

President Obama said Lazarus was "inspired by what she saw and heard, she wrote down her thoughts and donated a piece of work to help pay for the construction of a new statue - the Statue of Liberty which actually was funded in part by small donations from people across America."

There's just one problem -- the story is incorrect. According to the National Park Service, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France. The NPS told FOX News Radio French donors gave money to the Franco-American Union, a non-profit organization that gave the statue to the United States.

The statue's pedestal, however, was paid for by contributions through an American branch of the Franco-American Union.

According to the Park Service, Lazarus' poem was sold at auction by the pedestal committee for $1,500.


The sonnet was engraved on a bronze plaque and affixed to the inner walls of the pedestal in the early 1900's.

The president also misquoted her sonnet. According to New York Magazine, he recited the line as "yearning to be free." instead of "yearning to breathe free."