The state of Virginia has taken back the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that it contributed to the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol over 100 years ago. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced in a statement Monday that workers removed the statue of the Confederate commander of the Army of Northern Virginia overnight. The statue of Lee had stood in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol, as one of two statues each state is entitled to display since 1909. Lee’s statue stood with Virginia’s other contribution to the collection, a statute of America’s first president George Washington.
Earlier this month, the state’s Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol selected Barbara Rose Johns to replace the statue of Lee. Johns played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, according to historians. “I look forward to seeing a trailblazing young woman of color represent Virginia in the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns’ contributions to America and be empowered to create positive change in their communities like she did,” Gov. Northam said.
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