Steve Canyon Statue
Idaho Springs, Colorado
In 1947, the Squirrel Gulch district of the town of Idaho Springs was awash in post-WWII patriotism. Unable to channel their energies rationally, they decided to rename themselves "Steve Canyon," as a tribute to the hero of a W.W.II Sunday comic strip.
Two years later, their fervor unspent, they convinced the federal government to pay the Indiana Limestone Company $12,000 to carve a larger-than-life statue of their new namesake. It was shipped to Colorado and formally dedicated on July 8, 1950. Its plaque reads, in part, "The United States Treasury salutes Steve Canyon and through him, all American cartoon characters who serve the Nation."
Cartoonist Milton Caniff, who created Steve Canyon, had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. But "in appreciation for his enthusiasm," Idaho Springs gave him a gold mine.