CAPITOL HONOR: A statue of Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of what is now Bethune Cookman University, is on its way to the nation’s capitol.


Associated press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida appears poised to replace the statue of a Confederate general with famed educator Mary McLeod Bethune.

A Senate panel on Thursday voted to place a statute of Bethune in the U.S. Capitol. The legislation (SB 472) heads next to the full Senate, and a similar bill is moving through the Florida House.

Florida legislators two years ago voted to remove the statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith but did not at the time decide who should replace him.

Congress lets each state send two statues to the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. Florida’s other statue is of John Gorrie, whose inventions led to modern-day air conditioning.

Bethune founded Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in 1904. Bethune’s school eventually became the historically black Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.