ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk says he will support a resolution to replace a statue of Alexander H. Stephens with one of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the U.S. Capitol building.
The resolution was introduced in the Georgia Legislature by state Rep. Scot Turner.
Stephens had served as the vice president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865, and later as the 50th Governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883.
“The resolution calls for the creation of a National Statuary Hall Collection Replacement Committee, to be comprised of eight members chosen by the Governor. The committee is tasked with decisions such as, who will sculpt the statue, management of private funds raised for the statue, and relocation of the Alexander H. Stephens statue,” Loudermilk’s office said in a news release Thursday.
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“You cannot discuss Georgia’s history or our nation’s journey for freedom and liberty without mentioning the Civil Rights movement or Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Reverend King’s impact in America’s history is well storied; and, his Georgia roots are something many Georgians, like myself, are very proud of. Inspired by his Christian upbringing and beliefs, Reverend King inspired millions through his unwavering determination, peaceful protests, and willingness to have difficult conversations with those who disagreed with him,” Loudermilk said.
The National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol allows each state to display two statues in the U.S. Capitol complex. Since 2000, Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio have each replaced one of their original statues, and North Carolina has recently discussed replacing one of theirs with the late evangelist, Rev. Billy Graham.
“Reverend King’s commitment to individual liberties aligns our state’s history with the principles on which this nation was founded, which are the God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Loudermilk said.
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