A plaque honoring Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, was quietly removed from the park at Horton Plaza Park in downtown San Diego Wednesday morning.
The plaque, which was inlaid into the floor of the pavilion, was once a part of a larger totem to Davis, but was reduced in size and stature after the downtown park was redeveloped last year. It specifically honored Jefferson Davis Highway, a planned transcontinental road that was to extend from Virginia to California.
“This morning I ordered the immediate removal of a plaque honoring the Confederacy at Horton Plaza Park,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “San Diegans stand together against Confederate symbols of division.”
According to the text on the plaque, it was presented to San Diego on May 12, 1926, by a state chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (California sided with the Union). The plaque was replaced 30 years later.
“When I heard about the plaque, I texted Councilman [Chris] Ward and the mayor, and it was removed within a few hours. Glad it’s done,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher.
Last spring she pushed for Robert. E Lee Elementary School in Paradise Hills to be renamed to no longer honor the Confederate general. It is now known as Pacific View Leadership Academy.
Ward, whose district includes downtown, also praised its removal.
“Monuments to bigotry have no place in San Diego. Thank you to the citizens of San Diego who highlighted this, and to City staff for their quick response to remove this symbol of hate,” Ward said on Facebook.
The removal comes days after the deadly violence surrounding a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Stewart writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.