An Iowa congressman is pushing the idea of honoring the late Norman Borlaug with a statue in the U.S.Capitol. Borlaug, a native of Cresco, Iowa, won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in plant genetics.
In 1864, congress passed a law which allows each state to have statues of two “notable citizens” on display in the capitol. Nine years ago, Congress passed another law allowing states to replace the statues. But the switch can only be made if a state’s legislature and governor approve a resolution endorsing the switch.
Three states have made such a move since the turn of the century and Congressman Tom Latham says Iowa should make the switch and put a statue of Borlaug in the U.S. Capitol. Latham, a Republican from Ames, calls Borlaug “a true American hero” who saved “billions of lives across the globe from starvation.”
The two Iowa statues in the Capitol today honor Samuel Kirkwood, who served as governor of Iowa during the Civil War, and James Harlan, a former U.S. senator whose daughter married Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert.
Norman Borlaug died on Saturday at the age of 95.