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Self-avowed white supremacists encircle counterprotestors at Thomas Jefferson's statue at the University of Virginia on August 11, 2017. Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Charlottesville, Virginia will hold an annual day "recognizing the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans" instead of celebrating Thomas Jefferson's birthday, according to a decision made this week by the city council, the AP reports.

Between the lines: Jefferson's statue on the University of Virginia campus became a symbol of racial discrimination for protestors during the fatal 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

Flashback: Demonstrators on the first day of the Charlottesville rallies converged around a statue of Thomas Jefferson — who founded the University of Virginia — and fought with counter-protestors organized around the base of the statue. Some attendees "made monkey noises at the black counterprotesters" and chanted "white lives matter," the Washington Post reports.

  • A month after the rally, protestors covered Jefferson's statue in black and displayed signs reading "Black Lives Matter" and "TJ is a racist and rapist," according to the BBC.
  • Cities around the country have been confronted with demands to take down Confederate monuments and symbols in the aftermath of Charlottesville. Jefferson was not alive during the Civil War — therefore not a Confederate — but he was a slaveowner.

Go deeper: Confederate statues removed since the last "Unite the Right" rally

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.