Recognizing Willa Cather

On June 7, 2023, the state of Nebraska unveiled a statue of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather as the newest contribution to the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. I had the privilege of working with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and the Willa Cather Foundation in 2017 to investigate how Red Cloud, the author’s hometown, can celebrate and commemorate her life and work. How wonderful to see this fitting tribute to an American literary icon. The quote from her book, O Pioneers! inscribed on the statue is quite relevant today: “The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.” (Photo courtesy of Senator Pete Ricketts Press Team)