- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 20, 2020

Protesters toppled a statue in San Francisco of former President Ulysses S. Grant, who famously led the Union Army to victories that crippled and ultimately brought down the Confederacy.

The statue of Grant, who also served as the nation’s eighteenth president, was among three monuments in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park knocked down during the evening by a group of protesters.

Other monuments toppled on Friday include a statue of Junípero Serra, an 18th century missionary recently declared a saint in the Catholic Church, and Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem.

Police said roughly 400 protesters were at the park around the time the statues were taken down, the local NBC affiliate reported. No arrests were made, the local CBS station added.

The statues in San Francisco are among the latest to be dismantled as monuments around the country are toppled following last month’s racially charged killing of George Floyd.

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department in Minnesota. Protests against systemic racism and police brutality have taken place worldwide in the weeks since, including in several U.S. cities where controversial monuments have recently been toppled amid that unrest.

Indeed, the statues in San Francisco came down the same evening that protesters on the other side of the country successfully toppled a Confederate monument in Washington, D.C.

The statue in D.C. of Albert Pike, a brigadier general in the Confederate Army, was the only outdoor statue in the nation’s capital to honor a Confederate soldier prior to it being felled last night. The Pike statue has long been relatively obscure, however, in part because it depicted him in civilian dress and was designed primarily to honor his achievements in leading an order of Freemasons.

President Trump responded to the Pike statue’s dismantling on Twitter late Friday by calling for the immediate arrest of those involved.

Grant served two terms in the White House after helping to win the Civil War. He owned at least one slave prior to the war, according to The American Civil War Museum.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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