North Carolina moves to put Billy Graham statue in US Capitol

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina proposal to eventually place a statue of the Rev. Billy Graham inside the U.S. Capitol, replacing a statue of a former politician with white supremacist ties, has won state legislative approval.

North Carolina senators voted unanimously Thursday to pass the measure requesting a congressional committee approve Graham’s likeness as a state contribution to the Capitol. The bill, which gained House approval in April, now heads to Gov. Pat McCrory.

The 96-year-old evangelist grew up in Charlotte and lives in North Carolina. Under the proposal, Graham’s likeness is to replace that of Charles Aycock, who governed North Carolina from 1901 to 1905 and whose legacy recently has been tarnished by links to white supremacists of his era.

Congressional guidelines state a person’s statue can only be installed posthumously.