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Debate Over Which Statue Will Give Way To Truman - KOAM TV 7

Debate Over Which Statue Will Give Way To Truman

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     Harry Truman is headed back to Washington, creating a conundrum for lawmakers. 
    A statue of the Lamar Missouri native who ended World War II as the nation's 33rd president, is set to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol. 
    Every state gets to choose two statues for the National Statuary Hall Collection, and Missouri has displayed the same two men since the end of the 19th century. Missouri leaders thought it was time that Truman was represented there.
    But the choice of which statue Truman should kick out is not clean-cut.
    Truman will displace Francis Preston Blair, Jr. or Thomas Hart Benton. Both men were U.S. Senators, war-time soldiers and slavery opponents.
    However before Benton spoke so stridently against the expansion of slavery that voters kicked him out of Congress, he inherited two slaves. And while Blair was instrumental in keeping Missouri out of the Confederacy, he once campaigned for office on the premise that black people were part of "a semi-barbarous race."
    Years ago Missouri lawmakers approved kicking out Blair and keeping Benton. 
    But the Missouri Senate Tuesday voted 32-0 to keep Blair.
     Missouri's House still need to sign off on the resolution, and the legislative session ends Friday.
    If the new resolution doesn't pass this year or next, Truman will stand with Benton as originally planned.
    
 

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