The Charles Curtis Statue in Downtown Topeka

(Frank) I think we’re rolling. Hello again. We just have too good a time on this show. We hope you do too. Hey, I saw you in a picture with Charles Curtis. How did that happen? (Deb) Honey, I get around. I know all the cool people, important people, I know them all. Yes. Me and Charlie, we’re like that. (Frank) It’s not too green, but Kansas is like that. (Deb) Well, bronze does it too. (Frank) [laughs] (Deb) Just look at your baby boots. When they put those in bronze, they turn a little green too. But, Charles Curtis, the latest statue to be dedicated on Kansas Avenue. And I was talking with Marsha Oliver who is on the board of Downtown Topeka and we were talking about how this capital city, not just the State House, but this capital city belongs to everybody in Kansas. By golly, your tax dollars are making things happen in this State. Come and see what your capital city looks like today. Of course, speaking of tax dollars a lot of private funding went into the project on Kansas Avenue. So, it’s amazing. You’re going to love it. It’s going to make you proud, and I was so proud to be a part of the dedication of the Charles Curtis statue. (Frank) Come and see it. (Deb) Mayor Larry Wolgast commented that of all the statues installed on Kansas Avenue thus far, the only native Topekan is Native American Charles Curtis. Crystal Douglas, representing the Kaw Nation, said, To us, he is Cousin Charlie. Pat Doran of the Federal Home Loan Bank said, We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him. We at AGam have been involved in producing a documentary on the life of this amazing man. The first segment, on his childhood, may be viewed on the Kansas Humanities website. In the meantime, visit Curtis on Kansas Avenue, just a couple of blocks from the state office building that bears his name. The Federal Home Loan Bank is placing a bronze plaque next to his statue. It reads: Born in Topeka, great-grandson of Chief White Plume of the Kaw Nation, and first Native American Vice President. A champion of the American farmer, an advocate for women’s suffrage, and a standard-bearer for granting citizenship to Native Americans, Charles became a member of the US House of Representatives in 1893 with the 53rd Congress, serving seven terms. Elected to the US Senate 1907 and serving in that capacity for 20 years, Charles served as Senate Majority Leader before he became Vice-President of the United States in 1929. Charles was instrumental in the passage of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act and the establishment of a Federal Home Loan Bank in Topeka. Sculptor Elizabeth Zeller, 2015.
(Frank) We have to go. I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) And we’ll see you somewhere– (Frank and Deb) –Around Kansas.

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