Little Rock officials vote to rename Confederate Boulevard

AP News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2015 10:52 AM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Little Rock planning officials are recommending changing the name of a stretch of road called Confederate Boulevard.

The Little Rock Planning Commission voted Thursday to strip the name from the four-block section and make it an extension of Springer Boulevard. The recommendation came on the 58th anniversary of the day when federal troops arrived to escort nine black students into Central High School.

The original Confederate Boulevard spanned roughly 2.5 miles through a predominantly black section of southeast Little Rock. The span runs past the Little Rock National Cemetery, and the Rev. Horace Springer was one of the area's first black property owners.

Pieces of the road had been renamed over the years. Current property owners gathered signatures to fully strip the name after the summer shooting deaths of nine black church leaders in Charleston, South Carolina. A white man charged in the killings had posted photos of himself posing with a Confederate flag and symbols of white supremacy.

The Little Rock Board of Directors will have the final say on the change. Mayor Mark Stodola said before the vote that he would support the change if the Planning Commission did. He also said he didn't know "where you draw the line" on Southern monuments and memorials.