Add Thurgood Marshall to the National Statuary Hall in Washington, DC
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The National Statuary Hall honors American heroes and patriots in the Capitol building in Washington, DC. Each state is given the opportunity to be represented by two statues of figures they wish to honor or recognize, for a total of 100 statues.
Today, not one of the 100 people recognized in the Statuary Hall is African American.
In 2003, a change in law allowed states to replace one or both of their statues at their choosing. Since then, several states have updated their contributions and yet still no African Americans are present.
This petition calls on the state of Maryland to update its statues on a regular basis in order to recognize more Marylanders who made significant contributions to the state and nation. Every 25 years, the state should replace one of the two statues (currently honoring Charles Carroll and John Hanson), allowing each individual statue to stand for 50 years but also allowing modern heroes to receive a national honor from the state of Maryland.
As a first step, we humbly recommend that replace one of their to statues in the National Statuary with a monument to Thurgood Marshall. Marshall was born in Baltimore, represented the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, successfully argued for desegregation in Brown v. Board, and became the first African American Supreme Court Justice. His legacy in Maryland and the United States is unparalleled.
The state legislature should undertake the necessary steps to begin a replacement campaign.
To be clear, the purpose of this replacement is not to diminish or demean to contributions of either current honoree. Rather, the state should undertake a goal of updating its honorees on a regular basis in order to recognize the continuing contributions of its citizens. Both current statues for Maryland were donated in 1903. Their legacy should continue at the Maryland State House or other commemorative sites in Maryland.
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