Campus Notebook: Crop Swap

Posted September 16, 2009 at 6:48pm

Iowa Rep. Tom Latham (R) asked state legislators this week to replace one of the state’s two Capitol statues with the likeness of Norman Borlaug, an agricultural researcher who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to increase the world food supply.

[IMGCAP(1)]Latham wrote to the Legislature on Monday, two days after Borlaug died at the age of 95. The entire Iowa delegation has since signed on to the letter, which calls Borlaug “one of our state’s most accomplished natives, and one whom generations of the world’s people owe a deep gratitude, honor and respect.— Borlaug is perhaps best known for developing a high-yield wheat.

Since 1864, Congress has allowed every state to put two statues of accomplished citizens in the Capitol; to change a statue, the state legislature has to pass a resolution. Currently, Iowa’s statues depict former Iowa Sens. Samuel Kirkwood (R) and James Harlan (R). Latham did not specify which of the statues should be moved to make way for Borlaug, leaving the decision to the Legislature. But the Legislature is out of session until January.

Constitutionality. The Capitol Visitor Center is celebrating Constitution Week from Sept. 17 to 23 with speakers, professional development for teachers and tours. The weeklong commemoration coincides with the CVC’s expected 2 millionth visitor since it opened last December.

Speakers will discuss a wide variety of constitutional and American history every weekday at noon and 1 p.m. On Sept. 17, for example, National Archives political scientist Ken Kato will talk about deciding to go to war and Library of Congress curator Gerry Gawalt will talk about the making of the Bill of Rights. The CVC will also offer Constitution-oriented tours at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. More information is available online at visitthecapitol.gov.

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