Virginia county votes to rename Lee Highway for abolitionist

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Officials in a northern Virginia county near the nation’s capital voted Saturday to rename a major highway that currently shares a name with Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in honor of an abolitionist and elected official.

The Arlington County Board voted unanimously at its Saturday meeting to rename Lee Highway for abolitionist John Langston, according to a news release from the county. Langston was the first Black person to be elected to Congress from Virginia.

The highway, which also carries the U.S. 29 designation, was named Lee Highway in the 1920s. The new name would be Langston Boulevard. Arlington County estimates the name change will cost $300,000.

The name change would only cover the parts of Lee Highway that run through Arlington County, where Lee lived for many years. Neighboring Fairfax County is considering a new name for the highway as well.

Arlington County has already recently renamed Jefferson Davis Highway, which was named for the former Confederate president.

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