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Virginia lawmakers vote to remove segregationist's statue

Former Governor Harry F. Byrd Sr. was considered the architect of the state's racist 'massive resistance' policy to public school integration.
Credit: Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP
FILE - House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, talks on a phone as he sits at the feet of the statue of former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd at Capitol Square in Richmond, Va. Saturday, March 13, 2010. A panel of Virginia legislators will discuss the removal of a statue of former governor and U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr., from the state Capitol grounds. Byrd was a staunch segregationist and the architect of massive resistance against integrating schools.

RICHMOND, Va. — A statue of segregationist Virginia politician Harry F. Byrd Sr. will be removed from the state capitol grounds under a bill that has won bipartisan final approval from lawmakers.

By a vote of 36-3, the state Senate advanced the measure that had already cleared the House. The bill now heads to Gov. Ralph Northam, who supports it.

Byrd was a Democrat who served as Virginia’s governor and a 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.