Ohio Statue Candidates: The Ten Finalists

The list of candidates for Ohio’s new statue has been narrowed to 10 finalists. They are listed here in order of vote tally by the six members of the Statue Committee:

thomas_edisonThomas Edison (1847-1931):  Inventor
One of the most prolific inventors in history, Thomas Edison is credited with developing the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the first practical electric light bulb. He was born in Milan, Ohio, and moved to Michigan with his parents at the age of seven. Edison spent most of his adult life in New Jersey, where he developed the first modern industrial laboratory at Menlo Park.

harrietbeecherstoweHarriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96):  Abolitionist and Author
Harriet Beecher Stowe was the Cincinnati-based author of the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, often called one of the most influential texts ever written. Based on Stowe’s experiences with the Underground Railroad in Ohio, the novel painted a devastating portrait of the evils of slavery. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the second best-selling book of the nineteenth century (after the Bible). Its impact on the American public was so great that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe during the Civil War, he greeted her with, “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!”

jesse_owensJesse Owens (1913-80):  Athlete
Jesse Owens was a track-and-field athlete from Ohio State University, where he was known as the “Buckeye Bullet.” His four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin were a blow to Adolf Hitler’s plan of using the Games as a demonstration of Aryan superiority. Owens set a world record in the running broad jump (also called the long jump) that stood for 25 years.

Harriet_Taylor_UptonHarriet Taylor Upton (1853-1945):  Suffragist
A native of Ravenna, Harriet Taylor Upton was a leading figure in the fight for women’s right to vote. She served as the treasurer of the National Women’s Suffrage Association from 1894 to 1910, and as president of the Ohio Woman’s Suffrage Organization from 1899 to 1908 and again from 1911 to 1920. Upton was also the first woman to serve on the Republican National Executive Committee.

james_ashley_158James M. Ashley (1824-96):  Congressman
James Ashley was a prominent political and business leader in Ohio during the Civil War era. As the U.S. Representative from Toledo, he introduced the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. Ashley also played a leading role in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. He served briefly as the governor of the Montana Territory.

wright_brothersWright Brothers, Orville (1871-1948) and Wilbur (1867-1912):  Aviators
The Wright brothers, who lived and worked in Dayton, are credited with making the first controlled, powered heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903. In the two years afterward, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. (Treated as individual, although Statuary Hall rules prohibit a single statue from representing two people.)

william_mcculloch(Tie) William McCulloch (1901-80):  Congressman
William McCulloch served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1948 to 1973, representing the Fourth Ohio Congressional District. During his time in Washington, McCulloch was best known as a co-sponsor and staunch advocate of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He was recognized by President Lyndon Johnson as the prime mover for passage of this landmark legislation.

judith_resnick(Tie) Judith Resnik (1949-86):  Astronaut
A native of Akron, Judith Resnik was one of the seven astronauts killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986. She was the second American woman and the second Jewish person in space, logging 145 hours in orbit during her first mission on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1984. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honor.

albert_sabinAlbert Sabin (1906-92):  Medical Researcher
Dr. Albert Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine, was born in Poland and emigrated to the United States as a youth. From 1939 through 1969 he was on the staff of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he worked on developing a “live” vaccine against polio. The Sabin vaccine eventually replaced the “killed” vaccine developed by Jonas Salk.

Ulysses_Grant_1870-1880Ulysses S. Grant (1822-85):  President and U.S. Army General
As the general-in-chief of the Union Army during the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant led the North to victory against the Confederate States. In 1868 he was elected President of the United States, and served two terms from 1869 to 1877. As president, Grant supported Reconstruction in the South and civil rights for African-Americans, but his administration was marred by political corruption.

Press release from the National Statuary Collection Study Committee announcing the 10 finalists.