Travel to Washington, D.C. and venture into the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building, and you will see Oregon represented by historical luminaries John McLoughlin and Jason Lee. For those who are unaware of who those men were, McLoughlin was a fur trader who helped immigrants along the Oregon Trail, and Lee was one of the first Methodist missionaries to travel across the United States along the Oregon Trail.
If those men don’t ring a bell for you, you’re not the only one, and now Oregonians have a chance to pick new statues. Abbie Stillie, communications coordinator for the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, tells EW that “there is talk of replacing Oregon’s statues in the National Statuary Hall.” She says, “The commission to pick out new statues is taking a vote, and Wayne Morse is on the ballot.” Voting is open until Dec. 1.
The Wayne Morse Center is trying to get out the vote, Stillie says. And she says she thinks that “lots of Eugeneans might be interested in getting Wayne Morse back to D.C.”
Sen. Wayne Morse was far more than a guy whose Wayne Morse Ranch is a popular dog park and wedding spot. Morse spoke out against the Vietnam War and was one of only two senators who opposed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized the president to take military action in Vietnam without a declaration of war.
The fiery senator’s uncompromising positions on the Vietnam War, civil rights, free speech, the powers of Congress and putting people before corporations earned him nicknames like The Tiger of the Senate, The Conscience of the Senate, Mr. Education and Maverick.
The current state ballot is remarkably diverse, and in addition to Morse includes Chief Joseph (Heinmot Tooyalakekt); Ing Hay, a Chinese immigrant and doctor; Sen. Mark O. Hatfield; Linus Pauling; and suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway, to name a few. Go to http://wkly.ws/1ul to see the full ballot and vote.