NWHM lost its longtime friend and supporter, Former Senator Ted Stevens Monday night, when his plane crashed in Southwestern Alaska. Stevens was 86 years old. There were nine other passengers aboard the plane and five are believed to have been killed in the crash.
The much maligned longest- serving Republican in the Senate who was often monikered as “mean and miserable” was an invaluable source of support to our Museum.
Most folks don’t know about the unique relationship Senator Ted Stevens had with NWHM. Our Founder, Karen Staser and her husband, Jeff Staser were old friends of his and Jeff worked for him.
When we took over the project to get the Suffrage Statue, which was given by the Suffragists to the Congress to commemorate the passage of the 19th amendment, moved out of the Crypt of the U.S. Capitol into the Rotunda, he was the first to step forward to help. When in 1995 we were told that the floor of the Rotunda would be unable to support the weight of the statue, Stevens stepped in and paid for an engineering survey of the floor, which proved it could in fact hold the weight of the statue.
The statue’s official name is the Portrait Monument and features Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony.
Senator Stevens told us that he was raised by women who were Suffragists and he knew all the Suffrage songs. He even sang them for us. He enlisted Senator John Warner to help with the legislation to move the Statue and got it passed unanimously in the Senate.
He stayed our friend throughout the rest of his life. RIP Senator Stevens…keep singing those songs….