Guess we’re halfway through. I know you might find it unusual that Jim Henson is included among the Mississippi crowd but he actually was from that state even if it didn’t seem apparent to you. And yes, I know Elvis is more or less associated with Memphis and it might seem out of place to put him in Mississippi. But I have news for you, Elvis was born there as well. However, let’s move on shall we? Because in this selection, I will bring you some more Mount Rushmores from the states of Montana to New Jersey. First, it’s up in Montana where we’ll meet the first US Congresswoman, a guide at Glacier National Park who hung out with Blackfeet Indians, a very underrated microbiologist, and an adventurer who played an important role in the creation of Yellowstone National Park. Second, it’s off to Nebraska where we have an author’s whose books suggest lesbian undertones, a Catholic priest who founded a home for troubled youth, the man responsible for Mount Rushmore, and a formidable Indian chief. Third, we go to Nevada where you’ll find a journalist who covered the Russian Revolution, an animal rights activist, a basket weaver, and a teenage boy who showed what can brown do for you. Next, we go to Granit State New Hampshire where you’ll meet these rock solid figures consisting of an astronaut, a reclusive novelist, a noted sculptor whose work still stands, and a Treasury secretary who introduced the first paper US currency. And last but not least, we come to Garden or Toxic Dump State New Jersey where you’ll find a legendary inventor, a Scottish minister who modernized Princeton, a fiery suffragist, and a US president who enacted much needed Progressive Era reforms even if he was a filthy racist.
Figure 1: Jeannette Rankin– first woman to hold a high government office in the US when she was elected as the first US Congresswoman from the state of Montana. Also elected in 1940. As a lifelong pacifist she was one of 56 members of Congress who voted against entry into WWI and the only member of Congress to vote against declaring war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Figure 2: James Willard Schultz– author, explorer, Glacier National Park guide, fur trader and historian of the Blackfoot Indians. Lived amongst the Pikuni tribe during the period 1880-82 where he was given the name “Apikuni” by their chief, Running Crane, a word that’s Blackfeet for “spotted robe.” He had an Indian wife and a son called Lone Wolf as well. Is most noted for his prolific stories about Blackfoot life and his contributions to the naming of prominent features in Glacier National Park. Unfortunately, suffered from ill health for most of his last 30 years since guiding at the rugged Glacier took a physical toll on him. Published 37 fiction and non-fiction books dealing with the Blackfoot, Koontenai, and Flathead Indians. Works received critical literary acclaim from the general media as well as academia for his story telling and contributions to ethnology.
Figure 3: Maurice Hilleman– microbiologist who specialized in vaccinology and developed over 40 vaccines, an unparalleled record of productivity. Developed 8 of the 14 routinely recommended in current vaccine schedules comprising of those for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. Also played a role in the discovery of the cold-producing adenoviruses, the hepatitis viruses, and the cancer-causing virus SV40. Credited with saving more lives than any other medical scientist in the 20th century and described as “the most successful vaccinologist in history.”
Figure 4: Nathaniel P. Langford– explorer, businessman, bureaucrat, vigilante and historian who played an important role in the early years of the Montana gold fields, territorial government and the creation of Yellowstone National Park. Was a member of the 1870 Washburn–Langford–Doane Expedition which explored portions of the region that soon would become the iconic park. Though he was the park’s first superintendent, he didn’t have much time to run it and only entered it twice during his 5 years as superintendent since there was no salary, no funding to run the park, and no way to enforce legal protection for its wildlife or geological features. He also lacked the means to improve or properly protect the place without formal policy or regulations. This left Yellowstone vulnerable to poachers, vandals, and others seeking to raid its resources and there was lawlessness and exploitation of the park’s resources. He was forced out in 1877 by political pressure accusing him of neglect which was partly true.
Figure 1: Willa Cather– author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains including O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Ántonia. Was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, a novel set during WWI. Work is often marked by its nostalgic tone, her subject matter and themes drawn from memories of her early years on the American plains in Nebraska. Sexual identity remains a point of contention among scholars despite being widely seen as a lesbian.
Figure 2: Edward J. Flanagan– Catholic priest who founded an orphanage for homeless boys known as Boys Town which now also serves as a center for troubled youth. Stated, “there’s no such thing as a bad boy” and rejected the reform school model. Pioneered efforts to save children from neglect, abuse, poverty, illiteracy and lawlessness as well as passionately advocated for issues few dared to broach in his day. Wrote numerous articles, booklets, and books on child-rearing for parents. Served on several committees and boards dealing with the welfare of children and was the author of articles on child welfare as well as traveled to study child welfare problems in Ireland, Japan, Korea, Germany, and Austria. Received his own Oscar when Spencer Tracy won one for Best Actor in a biopic about his life which read: “To Father Flanagan, whose great humanity, kindly simplicity, and inspiring courage were strong enough to shine through my humble effort. Spencer Tracy.” Was given the title, “Servant of God” and may be in the process of becoming a saint.
Figure 3: Gutzon Borglum– artist and sculptor who is associated with his creation of Mount Rushmore National Memorial as well as other works of art including a bust of Abraham Lincoln exhibited in the White House by Theodore Roosevelt and now held in the United States Capitol Crypt in Washington, D.C. Also carved the faces in Stone Mountain, Georgia which was for the United Daughters for the Confederacy. The fact he was a strong nativist, racist, and member of the Klu Klux Klan made him a suitable choice.
Figure 4: Red Cloud– an important leader of the Oglala Lakota who was one of the most capable Native American opponents the United States Army faced, leading a successful campaign in 1866-1868 known as Red Cloud’s War which was over control of the Powder River Country in northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana. The largest action, the Fetterman Fight (with 81 men killed on the U.S. side), was the worst military defeat suffered by the U.S. on the Great Plains until the Battle of the Little Bighorn ten years later. After signing the treaty of Fort Laramie, he led his people in the important transition to reservation life.
Figure 1: Louise Bryant– feminist, activist, and journalist known for her sympathetic coverage of Russia and the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution along with her second husband John Reed. Wrote about leading Russian women such as Katherine Breshkovsky and Maria Spiridonova as well as men including Alexander Kerensky, Vladimir Lenin, and Leon Trotsky and her news stories appeared in newspapers across the U.S. and Canada in the years immediately following WWI. Defended the Russian Revolution in a testimony before the Overman Committee, a Senate subcommittee established to investigate Bolshevik influence in the US in 1919 as well as undertook a nationwide speaking tour to encourage public support of the Bolsheviks and to discourage armed U.S. intervention in Russia. After Reed’s death, she continued to write for Hearst about Russia as well as Turkey, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and other countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Figure 2: Velma Bronn Johnston– animal rights activist who led a campaign to stop the eradication of mustangs and free-roaming burros from public lands as well as was instrumental in passing legislation to stop using aircraft and land vehicles from inhumanely capturing them.
Figure 3: Dat So La Lee (a.k.a. Louisa Keyser)– member of the Washoe people and celebrated Native American basket weaver whose basketry came to national prominence during the Arts and Crafts movement and the “basket craze” of the early 20th century. Said to have made 120 baskets which were sold to her employers’ emporium. 20 of these were purchased from the State of Nevada.
Figure 4: James E. Casey– businessman and philanthropist who at 19, founded the American Messenger Company in 1907 where he served as president, CEO, and chairman which would later become the United Parcel Service (UPS). Also created Casey Family Programs and the Annie E. Casey Foundation with his siblings in 1966 to help children who were unable to live with their birth parents—giving them stability and an opportunity to grow to responsible adulthood because he sought to ways to help those who lacked a family life he found to be so crucial to his own success. Left a net worth of $100 million at the time of his death.
29. New Hampshire
Figure 1: Alan Shepard– naval officer and aviator, test pilot, businessman, and one of the original Mercury 7 NASA astronauts who in May 1961 became the second person and the first American to travel into space. Commanded the Apollo 14 mission in 1971, piloting the lander Antares to the most accurate landing of the Apollo missions. Was the fifth oldest person to walk on the moon and the only one of the Mercury 7 to do so as well as hit 2 golf balls on the lunar surface.
Figure 2: J.D. Salinger– writer who won acclaim early in life but became reclusive for more than a half-century. Best known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye which was an immediate popular success with his depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield was influential, especially among adolescent readers. Even today, it remains popular and controversial, selling around 250,000 copies a year.
Figure 3: Daniel Chester French– one of the most prolific and acclaimed American sculptors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who is best known for his design of the monumental work as well as the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. Was a founding member of the National Sculptor Society, helped design the Pulitzer Prize gold medals, as well as helped found the Berkshire Playhouse. Many of his public monuments still stand.
Figure 4: Salmon P. Chase– politician and jurist who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who presided over the Senate trial of Andrew Johnson’s impeachment proceedings in 1868. Yet, is better known for his time as Secretary of Treasury in the Lincoln administration where he strengthened the federal government by introducing its first paper currency as well as a national bank during the American Civil War. Prior to the war, he articulated the “slave power conspiracy” thesis, devoting his energies to the destruction of what he considered the Slave Power which was a conspiracy of Southern slave owners to seize control of the federal government and block the progress of liberty (and to be fair, he was right since pro-slavery politicians were a dominant political influence during the Antebellum years). And coined the coined the slogan of the Free Soil Party, “Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men.”
30. New Jersey
Figure 1: Thomas Edison– inventor and businessman dubbed, “The Wizard of Menlo Park” who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb which had impacts in electric light and power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all of which established major industries worldwide. Also had an impact in mass communication and in particular, telecommunications. Other inventions like a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, and a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories which is a crucial development in the modern industrialized world. Was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production on a large scale to the process of invention, and because of that, he’s often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. Held 1,093 US patents in his name as well as many in the UK, France, and Germany.
Figure 2: John Witherspoon– Presbyterian minister, politician, professor, Founding Father, and president of the College of New Jersey which is now known as Princeton University who was an influential figure in the development of the United States’ national character. Transformed Princeton from a sub-par college chiefly designed to train clergymen to a prestigious educational institution that would equip leaders of a new country through fundraising locally and in his native Scotland, adding 300 of his own books to the college library, purchasing scientific equipment, and instituting a number of reforms including modeling the syllabus and university structure after that used in Scottish universities as well as firmed up entrance requirements which helped the school compete with Harvard and Yale. Was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey and might’ve formulated an early version of American exceptionalism. Aaron Burr and James Madison were among his most famous students.
Figure 3: Alice Paul– suffragist, feminist, and women’s rights activist who was the main leader and strategist of the 1910s campaign for the 19th Amendment which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote. A Sociology Ph.D., she wrote her dissertation was entitled “The Legal Position of Women in Pennsylvania” that discussed the history of the women’s movement in Pennsylvania and the rest of the U.S., and urged woman suffrage as the key issue of the day. She also spent time in the UK with the militant WSPU, participating in their demonstrations and marches as as learned tactics she applied when she came home to the US. Along with Lucy Burns and others, she strategized the events such as the Woman Suffrage Procession and the Silent Sentinels, which led the campaign that resulted in its successful passage in 1920. Demonstrated for the women’s right to vote through organizing the Women’s Suffrage Procession in 1913, picketing in front of the White House sometimes with violent opposition as well as going on hunger strikes in prison. Spent a half century as leader of the National Woman’s Party, which fought for her Equal Rights Amendment to secure constitutional equality for women winning a large degree of success with the inclusion of women as a group protected against discrimination by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Figure 4: Woodrow Wilson– academic and college president of Princeton who served as US president from 1913-1921 whose administration saw the passage of progressive legislation policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933 which include the establishment of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act as well as reintroduction of the income tax. Avoided a railroad strike and economic crisis by imposing an 8-hour workday on railroads. His Clayton Antitrust Act prohibited price discrimination, agreements prohibiting retailers from handling other companies’ products, and directorates and agreements to control other companies as well as dictated accountability of individual corporate officers and clarified guidelines and ended union liability antitrust laws as well. Administration saw passage of 3 Constitutional Amendments which authorized direct election of senators, Prohibition, and female suffrage. Second term saw the US entry into WWI, the Spanish Flu epidemic, the Russian Revolution, and the Palmer Raids. In 1918, he issued his principles for peace in the Fourteen Points and promoted the formation of a League of Nations as well as a Wilsonian ideology that called for an activist foreign policy that called on the nation to promote global democracy. Was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 for his international efforts. While praised for his foreign policy efforts that has led to establishment of the United Nations, he has been criticized by several historians for his virulent racism and his shitty record on civil rights and civil liberties.