A Veritable 'Who's That?' of U.S. History





When the first crowds surge through the doors of the lavish new Capitol Visitor Center this fall, they will be steeped in the saga of American Democracy and greeted with a statue of that pillar of the nation . . . Ephraim McDowell, the pioneering hernia surgeon.

Elsewhere in the glittering tribute to good government, pilgrims will find a bronze of the noted agriculturalist Julius Sterling Morton . . . the founder of Arbor Day!

And what temple to the political life of the United States would be complete without a statue of . . . Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television?

That's not all. When the visitor center opens Dec. 2 on the east side of the Capitol, tourists will also encounter statues of such figures as Ernest Gruening, Alaska's first U.S. senator; Joseph Ward, founder of now-defunct Yankton College; John M. Clayton, co-negotiator of the oft-forgotten Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850. There will be a Hawaiian king, a Montana pacifist and a Colorado astronaut.

In vain will visitors look for statues of the titans in U.S. history in the $621 million underground complex, now getting its finishing touches. Instead, they will see the 23 most recent acquisitions of the National Statuary Hall Collection, a relatively contemporary array of individuals, albeit a bit obscure.


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