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A First for Florida
Nov. 9, 2021
This statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune will be representing the State of Florida in the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection. It will be the first to represent an African American person from any state in the collection. The statue of Dr. Bethune is taking the place of an obscure Confederate general who has represented Florida since the Jim Crow era in the state collection in 1922 which was removed at the start of September this year.
The new statue is one of only a few women to represent a state in the 100-statue collection. It is due to be installed in 2022 and it is a concrete testament to the gradual changing of attitudes brought about by increased awareness of who - and what values - people increasingly want to see honoured in the USA. She founded Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said she "embarked on her impactful career on equal rights, education, the advancement of veterans, and so much more. Dr. Bethune embodies the very best of the Sunshine State—Floridians and all Americans can take great pride in being represented by the great educator and civil rights icon.”