Hall of Fame for Great Americans 1976

About the members of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans for 1976 including Barton, Burbank, Carnegie and others.



There were 158 electors. In 1976 a new system of election was implemented. From now on, candidates are to be listed by category, i.e., (1) Arts and Humanities, (2) Sciences, and (3) Government, Business, and Labor. The electors are given a list of possible inductees and then are asked to rate them by number in order of preference. Only one candidate from each category will be chosen each election.

The change to a point system in place of a majority vote means that each time there is an election, someone is bound to be elected from each area of nomination.

There were 149 names submitted to the judges, including 9 carry-overs from the balloting in 1973. The winners in each division for 1976 were:

Arts and Humanities

Clara Barton (1821-1912). The founder of the American Red Cross. She received 942 points. Next in preference was Noah Webster with 839 points.


Luther Burbank (1849-1926). Horticulturist who developed many varieties of cultivated plants. Receiving the second-highest total was John Stevens (1749-1838). Stevens was an inventor who did much to improve transportation by steamship and by rail. Although eligible for inclusion in the Hall of Fame since 1900, he had not done well until 1976, when he received 701 points--not too far behind the 740 points given to Burbank.

Government, Business, and Labor

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). A strong contender since he first became eligible in 1945, Carnegie was finally selected. An interesting point is that Carnegie was elected in the category of Business, but it is as a philanthropist that he is most widely appreciated. With a total of 1,103 points, Carnegie was well ahead of any other candidate in 1976, including the runner-up, Charles Evans Hughes, with 935 points.

In addition to the runners-up in each section--Webster, Stevens, and Hughes--there are several individuals worth noting.

There seems to be a move to nominate those who made their mark in popular culture and sports. In 1976 those who received consideration included: George M. Cohan (1878-1942), actor, producer, and composer; Al Jolson (1886-1950), actor and singer; and Lou Gehrig (1903-1941), baseball player.

Under Science, some peculiar nominations were made. For instance, consideration was given to frontier planter Johnny Appleseed, Indian guide Sacagawea, and aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

It is interesting to note that 634 points were given to Chief Joseph (1840?-1904) of the Nez Perce tribe. He did better in 1976 than any other native American in the history of the Hall of Fame. Jefferson Davis continued his downhill slide, although he did get 672 points. The leader of the campaign to elect Jefferson Davis died, and no one has taken up the cause. Among the 149 nominees in 1976, there were such diverse names as Wyatt Earp (1848-1929), frontier marshal; Huey Long (1893-1935), governor and senator; and Will Rogers (1879-1935), stage performer and humorist.

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