DAYTON, Ohio — A new sculpture depicting Ohio inventor Thomas Edison is expected to be installed at a hall in the U.S. Capitol this fall in place of a statue of a former governor who supported Southern slave owners.
Each state is allotted room for likenesses of two notable historic figures at Statuary Hall, and Ohio is sending Edison to replace a statue of former Gov. William Allen, a Democrat from the 1800s.
The Ohio Historical Society launched an effort to replace Allen in 2010 when it polled state residents on whether the former governor deserved to be memorialized in the hall. Edison emerged as the choice of the 48,000 people who took part in the poll, followed by the Wright Brothers and Olympic track star Jesse Owens.
The Dayton Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1MfABLc ) backers of the swap hope it leads to reconsideration of other statues there honoring people who defended slavery.
"I would hope that Southern states would think of it the same way," Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said. "(South Carolina) did the right thing with the Confederate flag ... and I hope that southern states decide to put people (in the hall) that represent more people in their state that aren't defenders of slavery."
The project is expected to cost about $250,000, which includes returning the Allen statue to an undisclosed spot in Ohio.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com