Virginia

Panel to Hear Ideas for Replacing Virginia's Lee Statue in US Capitol

“The Robert E. Lee statue does not tell our full and true story, and it has never represented all Virginians,” Gov. Ralph Northam has said

Statue of Robert E. Lee in the US Capitol
NBCWashington

A state panel is soliciting recommendations on what should replace Virginia’s Robert E. Lee statue at the U.S. Capitol.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a virtual hearing by the Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. The first 80 people who sign up to speak will up to 3 minutes each to make their case.

People can also submit written comments. The deadline for those is Nov. 27.

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources will present a list of five finalists. And the commission will pick one to recommend to the General Assembly.

Notable Virginians who've been suggested in written comments include George C. Marshall. He was the Army chief of staff during World War II and is perhaps best known for the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the war. The longtime Loudoun County resident also served as Secretary of State and as Secretary of Defense.

Another is Barbara Johns. She was a 16-year-old student who led the walkout at Farmville’s Moton High School in 1951 to protest segregated schools. The case in Prince Edward County became part of Brown v. Board of Education, which led to the U.S. Supreme Court declaring government-segregated schools unconstitutional.

The eight-member commission voted unanimously in July to take down the Lee statute. 

“The Robert E. Lee statue does not tell our full and true story, and it has never represented all Virginians,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement after the vote.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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