WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher today applauded the U.S. Navy’s decision to extend the loan for the USS Wisconsin Badger figurehead to the Wisconsin Historical Society for fifty years. The Navy, which made the announcement in a letter to Governor Evers, cited the “strong affinity” Wisconsinites have developed for the statue in making the announcement.
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. After reports last year indicated the U.S. Naval Museum planned to move the statue to Norfolk, VA, Rep. Gallagher worked with Navy officials to temporarily extend the loan as officials worked to arrive at a longer-term solution.
“This is great news. Wisconsinites have a special connection to the USS Wisconsin Badger figurehead, and it’s good to see that it will now be in the State Capitol for at least another 50 years,” said Rep. Gallagher.
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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