Samuel Kirkwood is safe – for now.
However, Civil War-era Sen. James Harlan will lose his spot in the U.S. Capitol if legislation introduced in the Iowa House is adopted by both chambers of the Iowa Legislature.
House Joint Resolution 16 calls for replacing the statue of Harlan in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection with one of Iowa native Norman Borlaug. Borlaug, winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize grew up near Cresco and went on to a world-wide career in plant breeding and was known as the father of the “green revolution.”
Each state may have two statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Currently, Iowa has Harlan, who was elected to the Senate as a Free Soiler – a party that opposed the expansion of slavery into western territories. Later, he ran as a Republican. He also served as principal of Iowa City College and president of Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant prior to serving in the U.S. Senate. The other statue is of Samuel Kirkwood of Iowa City, who served two terms as governor and was appointed to fill Harlan’s unexpired term in the Senate.