NC Senate approves bill requesting Billy Graham statue in US Capitol

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The state Senate passed a bill Thursday requesting that a statue of Rev. Billy Graham be placed in the U.S. Capitol.

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the Senate approved a bill 44-0 calling for replacing a statue of former Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock in the National Statuary Hall Collection with one of Graham.

The state House has already approved the bill, meaning only McCrory’s signature is needed.

Each state has two statues in the collection at the Capitol. Aycock, who served as governor from 1901 to 1905, was originally honored for his role in improving education in the state. However, in recent years, Aycock has been viewed in a negative light because of actions harming African-Americans.

As governor, Aycock oversaw the creation of some of North Carolina’s first Jim Crow laws.

“There have been many great North Carolinians, but few have impacted the world more than Billy Graham,” the bill reads.

Sen. Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford) asked if any African-Americans had been considered for a statue, but voted in favor of the bill.

Graham, 96, is a North Carolina native who lives in Montreat.

Guidelines from the office of the Architect of the Capitol say only the dead can be honored with a statue, but the guidelines can be modified by a congressional committee.

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