The Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to rename Jefferson Davis Highway and to remove a statue of a Confederate soldier from historic Old Town in a move by the town that once honored its Confederate history.
The council needs permission from the Virginia General Assembly to remove the statue, located on the intersection of Prince and Washington streets in Old Town before it moves forward, The Washington Post reported.
After a long public hearing Saturday, the council voted to get permission from the General Assembly and rename the highway after asking the community for input on a new name.
Virginia named the road, also known as Route 1, after the Confederate president in the 1930s and the council changed the name of the road by Potomac Yards to match in 1952, according to The Daily Caller.
The council also voted to rename 30 streets named after Confederate soldiers on a case-by-case basis, The Post reported.
Removing the statue, however, was a more contentious issue up for debate among the 18 who testified at the council meeting.
If the council gets its way, the statue will be relocated from its spot to a local history museum not too far away. A Confederate regiment retreated from the city in 1861 at the spot where the statue is located.
Some argued that the legacy of Jefferson Davis should not be condemned because he believed in slavery while others said Alexandria should own up to its Confederate past and change course.
Last year, the city decided to end its practice of hanging three Confederate flags from traffic light poles near the statue on Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Confederate Memorial Day.