“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” These are a few of the words of Terre Haute poet and lawyer Max Ehrmann in his poem, Desiderata. A poem known throughout the world, Ehrmann was never given the proper recognition for his work. Indeed, through the years, many in Terre Haute forgot that a man from this city penned this work.
All of that has now changed as the City of Terre Haute celebrated in August the unveiling of a Max Ehrmann statue created by sculptor Bill Wolfe. The words of Ehrmann’s celebrated poem appear on a nearby bronze plaque.
In 1997, Mike McCormick, Vigo County historian, wrote about Ehrmann and Desiderata in an ad sponsored by Terre Haute First National (Financial) Bank, Wabash Valley Profiles: A series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history. The Vigo County Historical Society, 1411 S. 6th Street, Terre Haute, is the repository for this ad as well as numerous other ads sharing the history and people of Vigo County.
To view Ehrmann’s article click here. To read an article from the Terre Haute Tribune-Star about the unveiling of the statue, click here. To visit the Vigo County Historical Society’s collection on WV3, click here.