WASHINGTON (AP) — All summer, thousands of visitors traipse among the U.S. Capitol's many statues that honor the nation's founders, leaders and legends.
There's the father of his country, George Washington, and the preserver of the Union, Abraham Lincoln. And there's Florida's John Gorrie. He invented the ice machine.
Indeed, there Gorrie stands in Statuary Hall, just off the majestic Rotunda, next to civil rights leader Rosa Parks and near statesmen Daniel Webster and Henry Clay.
A physician-mechanic from Apalachicola, Fla., Gorrie died impoverished and virtually forgotten in 1855. But he's hardly the only American with a Capitol statue and a biography likely to surprise all but the most serious history buffs.
Starting in 1864, each state could donate two statues of people considered "illustrious for their historic renown."
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