Martha Hughes Cannon statue resolution finally freed in the Utah House

The “Free Martha” movement succeeded Tuesday.

SCR1, which was being held in the House Rules Committee by Chairman Mike Noel, was released Wednesday morning and is going to the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Standing Committee for a hearing.

Noel, R-Kanab, told earlier that he was holding the resolution – which would replace the statute of Philo T. Farnsworth in the U.S. Capitol with Martha Hughes Cannon – because he wanted more time to educate House members about the value of Farnsworth’s contribution to Utah and the world.

That brought sharp rebukes from various female lawmakers – and a short, impromptu chanting by Democratic Reps. Carol Spackman Moss and Rebecca Chavez-Houck before one Rules Committee of “Free Martha, Free Martha.”

Noel, who told that he knew he was stepping into a gender battle over SCR1, told his committee Wednesday that he “wasn’t taking sides” on letting SCR1 out of Rules.

Hey, Republicans on the committee even agreed with Houck to change the standing committee assignment from Judiciary to Economic Development for SCR1.

And the motions pass unanimously.

Somebody (Noel?) has clearly learned a lesson here.

Still not decided is exactly if, or how, the Farnsworth statue will be removed, and which statute of Cannon, would replace him.

There is a statue of Cannon on the Utah Capitol grounds currently.

Farnsworth, a Beaver, Utah, native, invented a number of electronic items, including a unique tube that allowed the invention of TVs.

Cannon was the first woman ever elected to a state Senate. She was a polygamous wife and doctor who defeated her own husband to serve one term in the Utah Senate in the early 1900s.