Remember Thomas Jefferson? The U.S. is replacing its most famous president statue with a woman

After 212 years, Thomas Jefferson has a new home.

The New York City Council voted Monday to remove Jefferson’s statue from its spot at City Hall, which the former president has shared with other national heroes since 1801. The decision had been widely anticipated since the council voted unanimously in August to kick the design competition for a new Jefferson statue.

“From this day forward, we pledge never to repeat the mistakes of the past,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the Monday news conference.

De Blasio said he’s looking at a number of suggestions for what to put there, but said that in the coming months a committee will be appointed to come up with a preliminary proposal.

Jefferson’s statue sits next to those of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. De Blasio insisted that the decision to change the Jefferson statue had nothing to do with the nation’s capital, a democratic state that is also the birthplace of Jefferson.

“Thomas Jefferson was a man with great deep convictions,” de Blasio said. “He made great contributions to American history but he made certain mistakes and … I don’t believe we should honor him with a tribute to him in the most prominent location in the world.”

Fritz Coleman, a National Park Service archaeologist who helped conduct explorations of what was once Alexandria, where Jefferson lived, said Monday that Jefferson’s crime was that he actually did push, rather than defer, the American revolution forward. It was Washington and Lincoln who did that, Coleman said.

Jefferson’s problems can’t be solved with statues alone, Coleman said. They needed to go where they’d most be seen, and he wants a respectful place for Jefferson at the national museum in his hometown of Monticello, Va.

Thomas Jefferson is the second-most famous face carved in marble on the new roof of the State Capitol building, an 8,000-pound Greek-style bust that is dedicated to “freedom in law and in deed.”

Jefferson is depicted as a noble king — the lone individual at the ceremony to mention the United States Constitution.

At that time and in many others, a towering Thomas Jefferson — wearing a tall, red hat and with curly white hair — was the American idol. His Mt. Vernon mansion is full of stained glass window panels that depict the founding father as royalty and are arranged on the top of the structure with a collection of other decorative panels.

Jackie Madison, the president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which manages the Mt. Vernon estate, said Monday that the foundation welcomes the decision, even if it was largely inevitable.

“It’s the right decision and we welcome it,” she said.

Also Monday, the Senate confirmed Education Secretary Arne Duncan to be chairman of the board of trustees at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which is building a $500 million hub for start-up and startup entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

At his confirmation hearing last month, Duncan said that whatever decisions he might make as education secretary should match up with his larger agenda. He said the country’s education system needs “reform — a process of fundamental change.”

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