TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s governor has ordered a statue of a Confederate general at the U.S. Capitol to be removed and replaced with one of an African-American woman.
Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill (SB 472) making that step official Monday.
The bill removes a statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith and replaces it with a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune. She founded a school that would eventually become historically black Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Bethune’s statue would be the first African-American woman in Statuary Hall.
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Congress allows each state two statues in Statuary Hall. Florida’s other one is of John Gorrie, whose inventions led to modern-day air conditioning.