New Orleans planned to begin removing the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early Monday, the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation racism and white supremacy. Workers were to begin removing the first memorial, one that commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, overnight in an attempt to avoid disruption from supporters who want the monuments to stay, some of whom city officials said have made death threats. Three other statues to Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis will be removed in later days now that legal challenges have been overcome. "There's a better way to use the property these monuments are on and a way that better reflects who we are," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in an interview Sunday with The Associated Press. Nationally, the debate over Confederate symbols has become heated since nine parishioners were killed at a black church in South Carolina in June 2015.
NEW ORLEANS – A stone obelisk heralding white supremacy and three statues of Confederate stalwarts once were among New Orleans' oldest landmarks, as much a part of the landscape as the Superdome and St. Louis Cathedral. But after decades standing sentinel over this Southern city, the Confederate monuments are gone amid a controversy that at times harkened back to the divisiveness of the Civil War they commemorated. The last of the monuments -- a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee facing defiantly north with his arms crossed -- was lifted by a crane from its pedestal late Friday. A cheer went out from a surrounding crowd, who recorded the moment of history with their phones and shook hands with each other in congratulations. Many had waited since morning.
A Confederate monument in New Orleans will be relocated after it was disassembled Monday morning. The statue is one of four prominent Confederate monuments that will be removed from New Orleans' city center. Amid protests from some -- and celebration from others -- The Liberty Place monument, a large and historic obelisk located at one end of Iberville Street, was deconstructed by local authorities in the early morning hours, the Associated Press reported. The Louisiana city is in the process of taking down four major Confederate monuments and statues, some of which include the Robert E. Lee statues at Lee Circle and the Jefferson Davis statue. The Liberty Place statue was the first to go.