GREEN BAY, WI — Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today applauded the U.S. Naval Museum’s decision to extend its loan of the USS Wisconsin figurehead to the Wisconsin State Capitol for two years. The extension comes after the U.S. Naval Museum planned to move the statue to Norfolk, VA, where it would be displayed alongside the USS Wisconsin.
The statue, which has been continuously displayed outside the Governor’s office since 1989, is a popular stop on tours of Wisconsin’s Capitol and a symbol of the state’s proud naval and maritime history. Following reports that Wisconsin may permanently lose the statue, Rep. Gallagher worked with the director of the Naval Museum, Claude Berube, to help keep the figurehead in the Wisconsin State Capitol.
“The USS Wisconsin figurehead reminds all who visit our State Capitol not only of Wisconsin’s role in the defending our nation, but also of the courage and sacrifice of all the sailors who served aboard these legendary ships,” said Rep. Gallagher. “I’m grateful that the US Naval Academy Museum has extended this loan for two more years so Wisconsinites of all ages will continue enjoying and learning from this unique piece of our history.”
The statue was made in 1899 from cannons seized during the Spanish-American War, and was the figurehead for the USS Wisconsin battleship prior to World War I. According to the Associated Press, the statue was originally placed in the U.S. Naval Academy garden before being loaned to the Wisconsin Historical Society in 1988. It has been in Wisconsin ever since.
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