Florida moves to replace Confederate statue in US Capitol

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:
Florida has a statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith inside the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, which some in Florida is looking to replace. (Photo courtesy: Architect of the Capitol/CBS12)

Florida could soon diversify the U.S. Capital’s Statuary Hall, by replacing a statue of a Confederate general with its first African-American woman.

The state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to install a statue of educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the spot where a statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith still stands.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill two years ago calling for Smith’s statue to be replaced, but last year bills choosing a replacement died.

Congress lets each state send two statues to the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. Florida’s other statue is of John Gorrie, whose inventions led to modern-day air conditioning.

Bethune founded Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in 1904, which eventually became Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.

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