President-Endorsed Homeopathy Statue
To merit a statue in Washington, DC, it helps to have friends in high places. In the case of Christian Hahnemann, his friends were the highest possible: William and Ida McKinley, the popular President and First Lady of the United States.
Hahnemann was the founder of homeopathy, and The First Couple were supporters of his disputed medical theories (Ida suffered from chronic illnesses that conventional doctors could not cure). When in 1900 the American Institute of Homeopathy asked permission to erect a monument to Hahnemann -- who had never even been to America and had been dead for 57 years -- Congress approved. It was completed a mere six months later, and the guest of honor at the dedication was President William McKinley.
The monument is as fancy as any in Washington. A bronze statue of Hahnemann by famous sculptor Charles Henry Niehaus sits in scholarly robes, lost in deep thought, under a half dome of colorful mosaic tiles. The statue is flanked by benches, bronze plaques depicting Hahnemann's life story, and symbols of wisdom, instruction, and strength. The inscription declares that he was "Leader of the Great Medical Reformation of the Nineteenth Century." A carved dolphin spews water into a fluted fountain.
The monument would have been visible from the White House, but President McKinley didn't have long to enjoy it; he was assassinated only a year after its dedication. McKinley, unlike Hahnemann, never got a statue in Washington, but Charles Henry Niehaus did sculpt the statue for his Ohio tomb.