Governor Ron DeSantis Officially Requests Replacement of Florida Statue in National Statuary Hall on 144thAnniversary of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s Birthday
On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis sent a letter to the Architect of the U.S. Capitol officially requesting the replacement of the General Edmund Kirby Smith statue in National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol with Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune will represent the first African American to have a state-commissioned statue in National Statuary Hall. The announcement coincides with the 144th anniversary of Dr. McLeod Bethune’s birthday, July 10, 1875 and was sent in accordance with Chapter 2018-19, Laws of Florida.
“Florida is proud to commemorate the 144th anniversary of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s birthday by sending our state’s formal request to place her statue in National Statuary Hall, making her the first African American to have a state-commissioned statue,” said Governor DeSantis. “Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was an influential educator, leader and civil rights activist who became one of Florida’s and our nation’s most influential leaders. Dr. McLeod Bethune’s statue will represent the best of who we are as Floridians to visitors from around the world in our nation’s capitol. Her legacy endures and will continue to inspire future generations.”