A statue in the U.S. Capitol of a Confederate general is being replaced by one of an African-American woman, at the direction of Florida Governor Rick Scott.
By a vote of 111-1 on February 20, 2018, the Florida House approved HB 139 to place a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
Gov. Scott (R) signed the bill into law on Tuesday, March 20, ordering a statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith to be removed from the U.S. Capitol, and be replaced with the statue of Bethune.
The Hill reported:
Bethune founded the institution that would go on to become Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black university in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The statue will also be the first monument of an African-American woman in Statuary Hall, according to the AP.
The new statue comes after a national debate surrounding Confederate monuments in the wake of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year. White supremacists had gathered in support of a monument of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Democratic lawmakers demanded that Confederate statues be removed from the U.S. Capitol after the rally, and introduced legislation to do so.
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill on Monday to put a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in the US Capitol’s Statuary Hall Collection. Her statue will replace a likeness of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith https://t.co/5Yw8jIgRbS
— adam harris (@AdamHSays) March 20, 2018