Florida lawmakers OK bill to send Mary McLeod Bethune to US Capitol

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 2:50 PM EST

The Florida Legislature approved a measure to replace a statue of a Confederate general with one of a civil rights leader in the U.S. Capitol Building Tuesday.

  • Florida House passed bill 111-1
  • Bill replaces Confederate general with Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Statue would be in National Statuary Hall Collection

The Florida House approved a bill to replace the statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall with one of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.

The vote was 111-1, with Jacksonville-area FL Rep. Jay Fant as the lone vote.

The Senate approved the move last month. Now the bill goes to Gov. Scott.

Dr. Bethune was an education advocate and the founder of Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach.

Bethune's statue would be the first honoring an African-American and the 10th honoring a woman.

Each state contributes two statues to the National Statuary Hall Collection. Aside from Smith, Florida's other statue honors physician and inventor John Gorrie, who pioneered ways to cool rooms, as a forerunner of air conditioning and refrigeration.