Virginia plaza that once honored Robert E. Lee to be renamed


The monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in downtown Roanoke, Va., was toppled Wednesday night, July 22, 2020. The base is marked with a safety cone. (Amy Friedenberger/The Roanoke Times via AP)

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A city council in Virginia has decided to rename a plaza where a marker recognizing Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was toppled last summer.

The Roanoke Times reports the west end of Lee Plaza in Roanoke will honor Henrietta Lacks. The Roanoke native died in 1951 and is the source of the first immortal human cell line.

The east half, where war memorials and monuments are located, will be known as Freedom Plaza. A timeline for putting the new names in place hasn’t yet been released.

Roanoke officials began efforts to rename the plaza after the Lee monument was found tipped over in July 2020.

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