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  Statuary Committee narrows the field to 10, will seek the opinions of ALL Ohioans about who should represent our state in Statuary Hall 

Committee announces partnership with Ohio Historical Society, Cincinnati Museum Center and Western Reserve Historical Society to gather public input throughout Spring

Columbus – After a dozen public hearings, site visits and much deliberation, the General Assembly’s National Statuary Committee today narrowed the field from more than 90 to 10 great Ohioans, one of whom could soon be memorialized as one of Ohio’s two representatives in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.

Based on the numerical rankings of the six members of the Committee, the following 10 earned the highest scores:

  • James Ashley
  • Thomas Edison
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • William McCulloch
  • Jesse Owens
  • Judith Resnik
  • Albert Sabin
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Harriet Taylor Upton
  • Wright Brothers

News Headline links:

  • Slate of 10 Ohioans ready for statue vote

Columbus Dispatch – An Olympic superstar (Jesse Owens), a world-famous inventor, a ground-breaking author and a Civil War general are among the finalists to become the states…

  • Finalists picked for new statue to represent Ohio in nation’s Capitol

Plain Dealer – COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohioans will pick from a list of 10 finalists revealed Tuesday to represent the state in a collection of   

  • Ohio statue: And the nominees are…

Cincinnati.com – COLUMBUS – Thomas Edison, Ulysses S. Grant, Jesse Owens and the Wright Brothers are among the best

The next step will be to give all Ohioans a chance to pick their favorite from among the 10. The results of this public input will be reported back to the Committee and will be the single, greatest factor in determining the final selection sometime in early July. In order to provide ample opportunity for all Ohioans to participate, the Committee will be partnering with the Ohio Historical Society, the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Western Reserve Historical Society to set up polling locations at historical sites and museums around the state from March 20 – June 12. More details regarding the locations and public input process will be announced at a later date.

“You may have to be 18 to vote in an election, but this is a process open to every Ohio resident with an interest in our shared history,” Senator Mark Wagoner (R-Ottawa Hills), who chairs the Statuary Committee, said. “I have learned so much about the contributions of great men and women from Ohio through my work on the Statuary Committee and it is my hope that through this process more Ohioans, and especially our schoolchildren, will get out to our outstanding historical sties and ‘do their homework’ to learn more about the people who have shaped our history. Their interest and participation will guarantee that we ultimately pick the right person.”

He noted that a great resource to start learning about the Ohioans under consideration for Statuary Hall is www.ohiohistorycentral.com – an online Ohio history encyclopedia sponsored by the Ohio Historical Society.

“I am glad that we are opening up this debate to the public,” State Rep. Letson said.  “The person chosen will represent all Ohioans at the U.S. Capitol, and therefore it is only fair that every Ohioan has the chance to weigh-in on the decision.  I have had the honor of speaking with many citizens who are passionate about our state’s colorful history and I am grateful to be able to give them a chance to have their voices heard by a larger audience.”

“I want to congratulate and thank the people who have nominated so many Ohioans for this honor as well as the legislators that have participated in the National Statuary Committee process,” said Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio Historical Society. “This has been an exciting opportunity for Ohioans to engage passionately in history and we look forward to working with the Committee as they make their final choice. It is true that the story of America cannot be told without the important contributions of Ohio and Ohioans. Now that the field has been narrowed to these 10 Ohioans, I hope we can celebrate and truly learn from the diversity of each of their contributions to American history.”

The National Statuary Collection Study Committee was created as part of Senate Bill 277 of the 126th General Assembly to select a replacement statue to be displayed at the United States Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The Committee is comprised of Chairman, Senator Wagoner, Vice Chairman, Representative Tom Letson (D-Warren), Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), Representative Richard Adams (R-Troy), Senator Karen Gillmor (R-Tiffin) and Representative Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery).

Members are working to present a formal recommendation to the Ohio General Assembly to replace the statue of former Ohio Governor William Allen with an individual who better represents the values and heritage of the state of Ohio. The other Ohioan represented is former President of the United States, Union general and U.S. Representative from Ohio, James A. Garfield.

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For more information about The National Statuary Collection Study Committee please contact Kristin Strobel in Senator Wagoner’s office at (614) 466-8060. Regarding the Ohio Historical Society’s participation, please contact Kim Schuette, (614) 297-2314.