- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Dozens of historians from 16 public and private colleges and universities in Kentucky have called for a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis to be removed from the state Capitol.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/1igxNTc ) reports that 72 current and former history professors signed a letter recently sent to Gov. Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission, urging officials to take down the statue.

“(The statue’s presence in the Capitol rotunda) minimizes the significance of slavery as a cause of the Civil War, downplays the human suffering of millions and endows the Southern cause with a nobility it does not deserve,” the letter reads.

The commission voted 7-2 in early August to keep the statue in the Capitol, where it stands with statues of four other prominent Kentuckians. The panel also voted to establish a committee to give the statues more historical context.

Carolyn Dupont, associate professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, said Monday that it was her idea for the state’s history professors to address the issue.

The historians who signed the letter think the Davis statue should be in a museum, Dupont said. She also said the professors “stand ready to help select a worthy alternative.”

Confederate symbols have come under increased public scrutiny since the June 17 massacre of nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, https://www.kentucky.com


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