Press Releases

A statue of educator Mary McLeod Bethune now represents the state of Florida in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.

  • “We unveiled a statue of an American who left for all of us an example of love, an example of hope, an example of faith in God. An example of a desire to live in harmony with others, to live in harmony with our fellow citizens. An example which our nation should follow now more than ever.” – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

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A transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below and a broadcast quality video is available to download here.

Let me begin by recognizing my colleague, Rick Scott. When he was the governor of Florida, he was instrumental in making sure that this day became possible, and I think he deserves that recognition. 

Dr. Bethune wasn't just a great Floridian. She was a great American. An American who refused to accept that her humble beginnings or the color of her skin were a limit on her dreams and on her destiny. And an American who, in the face of the ignorance, the cruelty, and the prejudice of others, refused to surrender to bitterness or cynicism or despair. 

Here in this hall are displayed the statues that are meant to show visitors from across the country and all over the world each of our respective states’ best men and women. But today we unveiled not just the statue of one of the greatest Floridians. We unveiled a statue of an American whose life exemplified our nation's long, historic, and ongoing 246-year journey to live up fully to the promise of our Founding. 

And today, we unveiled a statue of an American who left for all of us an example of love, an example of hope, an example of faith in God. An example of a desire to live in harmony with others, to live in harmony with our fellow citizens. An example which our nation should follow now more than ever.