Mural help tell our story
To the Editor:
I’m writing in regard to a recent editorial in the Sentinel regarding the refurbishing of the Governor’s Reception Room in the Capitol.
Gov. Mark Dayton commented that the large murals displayed on the walls should be removed for a more updated look. I have taken sixth-graders to the Capitol for 34 years. The significance of the murals are always stressed during the guided tours. The Civil War murals depict the heroism and courage our Minnesota regiments displayed throughout the war. Minnesota was the newest state to enter the Union and was the first state to volunteer troops for the war.
The Minnesota First Regiment had a integral part in the victory at the Battle of Gettysburg. In fact, there is a monument specifically dedicated to the Minnesota First at Gettysburg.
The mural of Father Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony is also significant. Hennepin named the falls after his patron saint. St. Anthony Falls powered the flour mills that made Minneapolis the “Flour Milling Capital of the World.” Today, the International Headquarters of General Mills is located in Minneapolis.
I do realize the portraits of the governors take up a lot of space on the lower level, but these were the leaders who helped create the state we have today. They should be visible in the Capitol just as the presidents are displayed in our nation’s Capitol.
Cass Gilbert was a brilliant and particular architect who even picked out the door knobs for the new structure.
Symbols of our state are seen all over the building. The Capitol belongs to the people. It tells the history of the state and must be preserved for future generations. These murals help tell that story so these events are not forgotten in the future.