Name of ‘racist traitor and slaveowner’ Jefferson Davis to be stripped from Virginia highway – By Diana Stancy Correll (Washington Examiner) / May 15 2019
Jefferson Davis Highway, located in Arlington County, Va., in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, is to be renamed following a unanimous vote from the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board.
The move caps a long-running and divisive debate about honoring Confederate leaders. Davis was the president of the Confederacy in the early 1860s. The busy road runs through a swath of liberal-leaning areas.
In March, Delegate Mark Levine wrote in his newsletter: “In Arlington County, one of the most diverse and progressive localities in the nation, we are saddled with a primary highway that honors a racist traitor and slaveowner who led the fight to take up arms against our nation in order to preserve the brutal system of slavery,”
The Northern Virginia highway name resolution was sent to the board for approval after the Arlington County Board approved a resolution to change the name last month. Approximately 2.5 miles of the highway is in Arlington County. The City of Alexandria, Va., changed its segment of the road to “Richmond Highway” in January.
“Arlington has long sought to rename the stretch of Jefferson Davis Highway that runs through our County,” Arlington County Board Chairman Christian Dorsey said in April. “For several years, we have included renaming the highway within our boundaries in our state Legislative Package. We participated in Alexandria’s ad hoc commission that recommended in 2018 that the City rename its portion of the highway ‘Richmond Highway.’ We said then we hoped to be able to soon follow suit.”
The highway was first named after the Confederate leader in 1922. Modifying street signs is expected to cost Arlington County $17,000.