Florida governor signs bill to remove Confederate statue in US Capitol

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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.

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