(Brendan LaChance, Oil City)
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Statehouse will join a small number of others across the country and establish outdoor monuments dedicated to real women in US history. The proposal is to create a memorial for Ohio women fighting for the right to vote on Thursday.
Currently, all statues of historical figures are outside the men’s statehouse, including Christopher Columbus, President William McKinley (former governor of Ohio), and seven civil war generals, including Ulysses S. Grant.
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“Who are these seven men?” Ask tourists a question at the foot of the Civil War statue, crowned by a statue of a woman from ancient Rome, whose sons played a prominent role in the military and politics.
“Peace”, a winged female figure, stands around the corner on the north side of the statehouse and remembers Ohio’s civil war soldiers “And The Loyal Women Of That Period”. Below is another statue of a genus woman, who also represents peace, a statue of McKinley.
On Thursday, members of the 100-year-old women’s election commission planned to propose the Monument to the Voting Rights to the Review and Advisory Board of Capitol Square.
It’s time to get real women on the statehouse grounds, especially those who fought for such an important right, said Commission Vice-President Senator Stephanie Kunze. Such a statue would both honor their work and inspire today’s girls and young women, she said.
“It is worth honoring the women who fought for the right to vote on the occasion of this 100th anniversary and then looking forward to what women will achieve in the next 100 years,” said Kunze, a Republican from Hilliard in a suburb of Columbus.
If the monument is approved, fundraising would likely exceed $ 1 million, and construction could follow after a five-year wait.
Nationally, statues of real women are relatively rare due to state houses.
In the Connecticut Statehouse is a statue of former governor Ella Grasso, the first self-elected governor of the state, and in Utah, the statue of Martha Hughes Cannon, the country’s first senator.
A statue of Esther Hobart Morris, Wyoming’s first female peace judge, had stood in front of the State Capitol for years, but was moved inside after the renovation last year and had to be brought outside after a renovation.
In Hawaii, the Capitol features a statue of Queen Liliuokalani, the last monarch of the Hawaiian kingdom.
The Arkansas Capitol has a statue of the Little Rock Nine, the black students from Central High School, six of whom were girls.
Arkansas and Mississippi also have Confederate women monuments with figurative representations. “Forward”, an allegorical female statue, stands in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol. “As long as the water is flowing”, a 2 m long representation of a Native American woman, stands prominently in front of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Minnesota has a monument to women’s suffrage, which honors 25 women who fought for the right to vote, and an extensive garden that contains their names but no statues.
There is a statue of the governor in the statehouses in Alabama. In Lurleen Wallace, Illinois, there is a statue of Lottie Holman O’Neill, the first woman to be elected to the Illinois General Assembly, and in Oklahoma, the statue of Kate Barnard, the second woman to be elected to a nationwide public Office in the United States (Oklahoma Commissioner of Charities and Corrections, 1907).
Nebraska’s Hall of Fame in the Capitol includes the busts of Willa Cather and Mari Sandoz. A statue of Harriet Tubman will soon be exhibited in Maryland.
Over the years, the country has not honored everyone who has contributed to being American, said Lisa Benton-Short, geography professor at George Washington University.
“A lot of our history is missing and it is missing in these key areas,” she said.
The Ohio Holocaust and Liberation Monument, unveiled on the south side of the Ohio Statehouse in 2014, was the last new open-air monument to the Capitol. At the time, some questioned its appropriateness because it contained a depiction of the Star of David, while others were concerned about starting a race to build other monuments. In the end, however, it was easy to approve.