A move to replace the statue of a Confederate general in the U.S. Capitol’s statuary hall passed its first hurdle in the Florida Senate.
Echoing House sponsor Rep. Jose Diaz (R-Miami), Sen. John Legg (R-Trinity)says the idea to replace Edmund Kirby Smith isn’t motivated by his tenure in the Confederacy. Instead Legg says, it comes from the general’s limited connection to the state.
“The reality of it was he only lived in Florida till he was twelve years old, and left Florida at twelve years old never to return,” Legg says.
“His impact on Florida was not significant,” Legg goes on, “he just did not shape Florida’s history.”
Each state has two statues of notable citizens in the Capitol. Florida’s submissions include Smith and physician John Gorrie, known as a pioneer of air conditioning.