Virginia Officials Vote To Rename Jefferson Davis Highway
State authorities voted Wednesday to remove the name of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from a northern Virginia county highway.
Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board voted unanimously to rename the highway from Jefferson Davis to Richmond, according to The Washington Post.
It’s also known as Route 1.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam supported the change in a letter to the board.
“While it is necessary for us to honestly discuss and interpret Virginia’s history, I feel strongly that commemorating the president of the Confederacy through the name of a major thoroughfare is not appropriate,” he wrote.
NEW: The Commonwealth Transportation Board unanimously votes to change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway.
Arlington County plans to change the signs in October after public awareness campaign.
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The name Richmond is also used by the City of Alexandria, just south of Arlington, with officials having approved the change June 2018.
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The Richmond name continues as the highway travels south through Fairfax County.
Activists have long sought to remove the name. However, they only gained enough momentum after protesters, including white supremacists, clashed at a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally in August 2017, and a car plowed into the crowd, killing one person, according to The Associated Press.
Route 1 runs 2,369 miles from Maine to Key West, Florida.
The Arlington section of the road is marked to the north by the Potomac River and south by the border for the City of Alexandria, according to InsideNova.com.
The Virginia Assembly changed the name in 1922, in part because of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s request.
New street signs are set to be complete by Oct. 1.
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