EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) — Two historic statues have been torn down on the University of Oregon campus this weekend — the Pioneer Mother and the Pioneer outside Johnson Hall.
The Pioneer Statue has been dragged up the steps of Johnson Hall, while the Pioneer Mother was still laying next to her mount.
Statues of Confederate figures have come down during protests in the southern US, and protesters in England tore down a statue of a slave trader and dumped it in a nearby river. Statues of Christopher Columbus have also been targeted.
Protesters have taken to the streets of Eugene for the past two weeks, with several different groups organizing protests and marches.
A group held a teach-in on campus Saturday. Another group held a rally at Alton Baker Park.
It is not yet known who is responsible for what happened to the pioneer statues on the Oregon campus.
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One of the statues, the Pioneer, near Friendly Hall and Allen Hall, was the first statue ever placed on the UO campus, according to the school's website. There has been some controversy regarding the significance of the statue, as it reportedly has some controversial ties. Here is an excerpt about the statue, according to the UO website.
In 1919, the President of the Oregon Historical Society made a speech at the dedication that extolled the virtues of the Anglo-Saxon race. In the speech he stated, “the Anglo-Saxon race is a branch of the Teutonic race. It was and is a liberty-loving race. It believes in the protection of life and of liberty an in the rights of property and the pursuit of happiness. This race has large powers of assimilation, and its great ideas of liberty and of the rights of mankind caused other races to become a part of it, so it became a people as well as a race.”
Due to these controversial statements, various students and faculty have worked to bring awareness about this issue and reveal the history and statements surrounding the statue.
The Pioneer Mother statue outside Johnson Hall also has some controversial historical ties. According to an old report from the Register-Guard, statues like this were thought to be spread across the west in the early 1930s in order to "celebrate white conquest of the land." While it is unclear who exactly the Pioneer Mother is based on, there are questions about the origin and meaning of the statue.
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