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Virginia lawmakers vote to remove statue of segregationist

A statue of Harry Byrd Sr. in Capitol Square will get signage noting his role as the architect...
A statue of Harry Byrd Sr. in Capitol Square will get signage noting his role as the architect of the state's policy of massive resistance to the integration of public schools.(Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 11:24 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A panel of Virginia lawmakers have advanced a bill to remove a statue of Harry F. Byrd Sr., a staunch segregationist, from the state Capitol grounds.

The decision to advance the bill comes amid a yearslong effort in history-rich Virginia to rethink who is honored in the state’s public spaces.

Byrd, a Democrat, served as governor and U.S. senator. He ran the state’s most powerful political machine for decades until his death in 1966 and was considered the architect of the state’s racist “massive resistance” policy to public school integration.

The bill advanced on a party-line vote, with all Republicans on the committee voting against it.

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