- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Florida town has renamed its Old Dixie Highway and will now call the road President Barack Obama Highway.

The city of Riviera Beach swapped out the old highway signs for new ones with the president’s name at a ceremony Thursday after city officials voted to do away with the old name that referenced the slave-holding South, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

It is the second road in Palm Beach County to be named in honor of the 44th president, county officials said. Two years ago, East First Street in Pakokee was renamed Barack Obama Boulevard.

“We are stepping up to a new day, a new era, and replacing Old Dixie with Barack Obama, who represents change,” Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters told local reporters.

Mr. Masters, who represents a city that is 66 percent black, pushed the effort to rename the road to honor the first black president.

The renamed highway at one intersection crosses with another road named for Martin Luther King Jr.

The change comes as cities across the country grapple with emotional tensions over historic symbols such as statues and street names from the Confederacy.

The newly named highway joins other Florida roads named after presidents.

In 1998, the Florida Legislature designated the Florida Turnpike the Ronald Reagan Turnpike.

Delray Beach renamed Northeast Eighth Street in honor of George H.W. Bush during the early 1990s, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

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