Ohio is in the process right now of choosing a replacement for one of its statues.
For more than a century, Ohio has been represented in Statuary Hall by the marble likenesses of President James Garfield and Governor William Allen. Garfield is still secure on his perch, but Allen’s racist views have made him something of an embarrassment. In 2006 the Ohio General Assembly voted to form a Statuary Committee to find a suitable replacement for the Allen statue.
In January 2010 Dr. Lynette Long, President of EVE, testifed before the Statuary Committee on the importance of honoring more women in National Statuary Hall. When the Statuary Committee announced its list of ten finalists, three women had made the list.
- Thomas Edison, inventor
- Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and author
- Jesse Owens, Olympic gold medal winner
- Harriet Taylor Upton, women’s suffrage activist
- James M. Ashley, Toledo congressman and abolitionist
- Wright brothers, Dayton aviation pioneers
- William McCulloch, Piqua congressman and civil rights supporter
- Judith Resnik, Akron astronaut who died on the Challenger
- Albert Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine
- Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president and Civil War general
From March 20 to June 12, 2010, Ohioans were given a chance to vote for their top choices at museums, historical sites, and other locations around the state. EVE campaigned and organized educational events in the state throughout this period, urging Ohians to vote for one of the women candidates.
When the results of the public balloting were tallied in July, the top vote-getter was Thomas Edison.
The Committee’s Recommendation
On August 26, the Statuary Committee formally recommended Thomas Edison for the state’s new statue.
The recommendation now goes to the Ohio State Legislature House and Senate for their consideration.
EVE’s Ohio Statue Project
At this writing, we fully expect Ohio lawmakers to choose Thomas Edison as the state’s new representative in National Statuary Hall. This project section remains as a record of our efforts in the state, and of the remarkable enthusiasm shown by those volunteers and students who campaigned to “Put a Woman in Statuary Hall!”