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Statuary Hall

How state officials decided who made the cut for new statue

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As interesting as who’s on the list to be the subject of Florida’s next statue in the U.S. Capitol may be who’s not on the list. Last week, the Department of State released 129 names submitted by the public as recommendations for a new statue in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. State lawmakers will make the final decision. Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of what is now Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, is the top public choice. Every state has two statues. Florida is seeking…

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Many Floridians of note deserve U.S. Capitol honor

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Florida had been a state for less than a century when it came time to honor famous citizens with two statues at the U.S. Capitol, and there were few plausible candidates. Dr. John Gorrie, the physician who invented mechanical refrigeration – imagine modern Florida without it – was an outstanding choice. But from today’s perspective, Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith is a head-scratcher. Let 2016 be the year the Legislature finally retires him. Smith’s historical distinction was to command Rebel…

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