By Christopher Carbone, ,
Published August 21, 2018
More than 30 cities across the United States have removed or relocated Confederate statues and monuments amid an intense nationwide debate about race and history.
After a “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia in August to protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee resulted in the death of a woman who was demonstrating against white supremacy, other cities have decided to remove Confederate statues.
Many of the controversial monuments were dedicated in the early twentieth century or during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Discussions are under way about the removal of monuments in Houston, Atlanta, Nashville, Pensacola, Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, Richmond, Virginia, Birmingham, Alabama, and Charlottesville, Virginia.
Here is a running list of all the monuments and statues that have been removed and the cities that have taken them down:
Under cover of darkness, city workers removed a statue in August 2017 of former Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney that had been on the State House’s front lawn for 145 years. Taney authored the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision, which held that African-Americans could not be U.S. citizens. The city’s Republican mayor said through a spokesman that it was removed “as a matter of public safety.”
The statues of four people with ties to the Confederacy – Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnson, John H. Reagan and former Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg – were removed from pedestals on the University of Texas campus on Aug. 17, 2017. UT’s president said in a written statement the deadly clashes in Charlottesville made it clear “Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.” Separately, a 1,200-pound bronze statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis that was removed from UT’s campus in 2015 has now returned to the campus, at the Briscoe Center for American History.
The Austin school board voted to strip Confederate names from five district schools, though they haven’t been renamed yet. The board had previously renamed Robert E. Lee Elementary School in 2016.
The Austin City Council approved renaming Robert E. Lee Road and Jeff Davis Avenue.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh told reporters she wanted to move “quickly and quietly” to take down four Confederate statues or monuments – statues of Lee and Thomas, J. “Stonewall” Jackson and monuments for Confederate Soldiers and Sailors and Confederate Women – from the city’s public spaces. Although the plan had been in the works since June 2017, the Baltimore City Council approved it only two days after the deadly events in Charlottesville. On March 10, 2018, the space where the Confederate statues had stood was rededicated to abolitionist and civil rights pioneer Harriet Tubman.
Mantee County removed a Confederate soldiers memorial obelisk on Aug. 24 after the city commission voted 4-3 to take it down and place it in storage. The monument, which had stood there for more than 90 years, was accidentally broken into two pieces when city workers removed it. The removal came after days of protests from residents and activists, most of whom were in favor of taking it down, and it cost $12,700 to remove.
Plaques honoring Lee were removed from an episcopal church’s property on Aug. 16, 2017 and the governor called on the Army to remove the names of Lee and another Confederate general from the streets around a nearby fort. “It was very easy for us to say, ‘OK, we'll take the plaques down,'” said Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, who called them “offensive to the community.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a review of all the city’s public art to identify “symbols of hate” for possible removal.
A bronze statue of Robert E. Lee, formally called the Robert Edward Lee Sculpture, was removed in mid-September 2017 from Robert E. Lee Park, which was also named in honor of the Confederate general. The Dallas City Council voted 13-1 to remove the statue, which has stood in Lee Park for 81 years.
The park was dedicated to Lee by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936 during a renaming ceremony of the park.
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Three Confederate monuments were removed from a city park Friday morning. A city spokesperson said the plaques were going to be cleaned up and taken to a nearby museum. The decision to remove them did not require public input, the spokes-person told FOX35, because they were donated and not purchased with taxpayer funds.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Protesters toppled the "Silent Sam" statue that has stood on the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus since 1913 on Aug. 20. More than 200 people had gathered and were chanting "hey, hey, ho, ho, this racist statue has got to go." In a statement, UNC Chancellor Carol Folt called the act "unlawful and dangerous," adding that law enforcement were investigating the incident. The statue had been a source of controversy, with school officials claiming that state law prevented them from removing it.
A nearly-century old statue of a Confederate soldier was toppled not long after Charlottesville by protesters associated with the Workers World party. North Carolina Central University student Takiyah Thompson, along with three others, were arrested and charged with felonies in the days following. As the bronze statue lay crumpled on the ground, protesters could be seen kicking it on social media. A Worthington assistant city manager said the community seeks to be one that “promotes tolerance, respect and inclusion.”
A statute of Lee was removed from the entrance to Duke University Chapel on Aug. 19, 2017 and is set to be preserved in some way to study the university's "complex past."
"I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university," university President Vincent Price wrote in statement to the school.
A monument to Lee was removed in August 2017 by Franklin workers.
A chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy paid for the removal of a monument to Confederate soldiers known locally as “Old Joe” that stood in front a building in downtown Gainesville for 113 years. It was moved to a private cemetery outside the city in August 2017.
The state's capital city on Aug. 18, 2017 removed a memorial to Confederate soldiers that had been in a public park since 1916. the granite fountain, which was dismantled, had been donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. City Parks and Recreation Director Amy Teegarden told the Spokesman-Review that the fountain initially will be stored in a city warehouse -- but it could be reassembled at a future date.
Kansas City, Mo.
A Confederate monument was boxed up in summer 2017 and is slated to be removed. The Missouri division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy had asked Kansas City Parks and Recreation to find a new home for it.
Two 130-year-old Confederate statues were removed from downtown Lexington on October 18 after the state's attorney general issued an opinion giving the city permission to take them down and move them to a private cemetery. Lexington used private funds to take the statues, of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge, a former U.S. Vice President and the last Confederate Secretary of War. Private funds will cover the cost of their upkeep in the cemetery.
Los Angeles, Calif.
A large stone monument commemorating Confederate veterans was taken down Aug. 16 from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery after hundreds of people demanded its removal. The 6-foot granite marker was loaded into a pickup truck and taken to a storage facility. A petition calling for it to be taken down had garnered 1,300 signatures.
A statue of a Confederate soldier was removed from the University of Louisville campus after a legal battle between the city residents, the mayor and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It was relocated to Brandenburg, Kentucky, which hosts Civil War reenactments.
A plaque honoring Confederate soldiers was removed Aug. 17 from a cemetery not long after residents and city leaders began calling for it to be taken down. “The Civil War was an act of insurrection and treason and a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery,” said Mayor Paul Soglin in a statement. “The monuments in question were connected to that action and we do not need them on city property.”
Crews removed two Confederate statues from Memphis parks on Dec. 20 after the city sold them to a private entity. The City Council voted unanimously earlier in the day to sell both Health Sciences and Fourth Bluff Parks where the Confederate statues, of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, were located.
The legendary Ryman Auditorium, where stars like Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn made their Grand Ole Opry debuts, quietly moved a sign on Sept. 21 hanging from the venue's upper level that read "1897 Confederate Gallery." Honoring an 1897 reunion of Confederate veterans at the Ryman, the sign had been shrouded over the years but has now been permanently removed from the main auditorium and added to a museum exhibit that explains the history of the 125-year-old music hall.
New Orleans, La.
New Orleans city workers removed four monuments in April dedicated to the Confederacy and opponents of Reconstruction. The city council had declared the monuments a public nuisance. The monuments removed were of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, Davis and Lee. Also removed was the Liberty Place Monument, which commemorated a Reconstruction Era white supremacist attack on the city’s integrated police force. The mayor plans to replace them with new fountains and an American flag.
New York, N.Y.
Busts of Lee and Jackson were removed overnight on Aug. 17 from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College. Prior to its removal, Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. had said "there is nothing great about two men who committed treason against the United States to fight to keep the institution of slavery in tact.”
A Confederate statue known as "Johnny Reb" was moved in June 2017 by officials from Lake Eola Park to Greenwood Cemetery in response to public outcry about it being symbolic of hate and white supremacy. A spokesperson for Orlando’s mayor told Fox News that city officials are working with historians on a new inscription to put the monument “in proper historical perspective.”
The Richmond school board voted 6-1 on June 18, 2018 to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama Elementary School. The process began several months prior and involved input from students, teachers, administrators and local stakeholders. Virginia is home to the largest number of Confederate monuments and symbols in the country.
A 13-ton bronze Confederate statue that had stood for decades next to Rockville’s Red Brick Courthouse was relocated in July next to a privately run Potomac River ferry named for a Confederate general. The relocation cost about $100,000, according to the Washington Post.
San Diego, Calif.
A plaque honoring Davis was quietly removed Aug. 16, 2017 from a downtown park. “This morning I ordered the immediate removal of a plaque honoring the Confederacy at Horton Plaza Park,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer told the Los Angeles Times. “San Diegans stand together against Confederate symbols of division.”
San Antonio, Texas
A Confederate statue was removed from Travis Park overnight Sept. 1, 2017 after the City Council voted 10-1 in favor of taking it down the previous day. There were no protesters during or after the removal, according to local media reports. "This is, without context, a monument that glorifies the causes of the Confederacy, and that's not something that a modern city needs to have in a public square," said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg following the council vote.
San Antonio, Texas
A Jefferson Davis highway marker was removed in 2016.
St. Louis, Mo.
The Missouri Civil War Museum oversaw the removal in late June 2017 of a 32-foot granite and bronze monument from Forest Park, where it had stood for 103 years. It shouldered the costs of removal and will hold the monument in storage until a new home can be found for it. The agreement stipulates the monument can be re-displayed at a Civil War museum, battlefield or cemetery. In Boone County, a rock with a plaque honoring Confederate soldiers that had been removed from the University of Missouri campus was relocated a second time after the Charleston AEM church massacre to a historic site commemorating a nearby Civil War battle.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman ordered city workers to remove a bronze Confederate marker at noon on Aug. 15, 2017 after determining that it was on city property. It’s being held in storage until a new home can be found for it. "The plaque recognizing a highway named after Stonewall Jackson has been removed and we will attempt to locate its owner,” Kriseman said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times.
The stewards of the National Mall announced this week that the exhibit alongside the Thomas Jefferson Memorial will be updated to showcase his status as both one of the country's founders and a slaveholder. "We can reflect the momentous contributions of someone like Thomas Jefferson, but also consider carefully the complexity of who he was," an official with the Trust told the Washington Examiner. "And that's not reflected right now in the exhibits."
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker introduced a bill in Sept. 2017 to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol Building.
The National Cathedral voted that same month to take down two stained-glass windows of Confederate generals. The removal could take a few days and workers seen putting up scaffolding around the windows to start the process.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, signed a bill to replace a statue of a Confederate general at the U.S. Capitol with one of Mary McLeod Bethune, a black woman who founded a school that became Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She'll become the first black female to be honored in Statuary Hall.
Worthington removed a historic marker Aug. 18 outside the former home of a Confederate general.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you learn new information about the removal of Confederate monuments.
Fox News' Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.