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Andrew Jackson Higgins
(1886 - 1952)
Born in Columbus, Nebraska

Your continued support is needed

The following are letters written to the Higgins Memorial Project committee. 

Letter from Dawn Higgins Murphy, Daughter of Andrew Jackson Higgins

When Jerry Meyer first informed me of the interest in having a memorial built honoring my father, Andrew Jackson Higgins, my family was surprised, but very interested and excited.  On learning of Nebraska governor Mike Johanns signing  of a proclamation making August 28th Andrew Higgins Day, I knew that I must make a trip to Columbus to personally thank the many people who are trying to make the memorial project a reality.  My husband, daughter and I made the trip from Jackson, Mississippi in time for Columbus Mayor Gary Giebelhaus' signing of a city proclamation, again making August 28th, my fathers' birthday, a memorable time for our family.

I can never thank the many people we met in Columbus enough for their help in giving the Higgins name a new life.  I look forward to our next visit, hopefully next August, and to seeing our many new friends again.

Letter from Andre'e Higgins Stefferud, Daughter of Andrew Jackson Higgins

I was surprised, pleased and honored to get your letter today about your plans for a memorial in Columbus in honor of my father.  Your preparations and research clearly indicate a deep interest and commitment to the remembrance of the "greatest generation", as Tom Brokaw called it, and I'm proud that my father was a member of that generation and was able to contribute so much to the country he loved.

I know that much of my father's determination and patriotism was formed in Nebraska, and that he would be very pleased to be remembered by the people of Columbus.  When my husband, David, and I come, as we surely intend, I will bring some old clippings and papers which will show the warm relationship between the Higgins family and Nebraska.  We have not been there, but certainly look forward to coming.

I wish you every success in your project and I will do all I can to help.

Letter from the Governor of Louisiana

I have received your letter regarding your efforts to establish a memorial to Andrew Jackson Higgins in Columbus, Nebraska.  Thank you for writing me.

World War II marked a turning point in world history and there has never been one event since then that has impacted society in such an important way.  The Allied victory, especially the D-Day invasion, could never have succeeded had it not been for Andrew Higgins' foresight.  The Higgins boat was vital to victory and I want to wish you the best as you establish a memorial to him in his hometown.

Again, thank you for writing.

Letter from Tom Brokow

I'm not surprised Andrew Jackson Higgins was born in Nebraska.  After all, he embodied the pioneer "can-do" spirit of your state.

Good luck with you project.  It's important for current and future generations to know the stories of accomplishments that are rooted in Columbus.

Letter from Jerry Strahan, Higgin's Biographer

As Andrew Jackson Higgins biographer, I wish to state that I enthusiastically support you project to honor Mr. Higgins in the city of his birth.  Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower once called Higgins, "the man who won the war for us."  Adolf Hitler once referred to him as the "New Noah" And, Captain R.R.M. Emmett, who commanded landing forces in North Africa and later became commandant of the Great Lakes Training Station, wrote during the war, "When the history of this war is finally written by historians, far enough removed from its present turmoil and clamor to be cool and impartial, I predict that they will place Mr. Higgins very high on the list of those who deserve the commendation and gratitude of all citizens."

Every city in the United States would love to claim Mr. Higgins as one of its own.  New Orleans does so as an adopted son.  For it was here that Higgins' plants produced 20,094 boats for the war effort.  In recognition of his accomplishments, we have named a prominent street after him and have featured him in the National D-Day Museum.  While we honor him as an adopted son, Columbus solely has the right to claim him as its own true son.  It is only fitting and proper that through the "Higgins Memorial Project" Columbus now rightly honors one of its own.

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