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

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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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