Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville ends Thomas Jefferson's birthday to highlight emancipation

This image shows a crowd of torch-carrying people surrounding a statue of Thomas Jefferson at night.
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.

Charlottesville attacker gets life sentence for federal hate crimes

Photo: LOGAN CYRUS / Contributor/Getty

A federal judge sentenced James Alex Fields Jr., a self-described neo-Nazi, to life in prison for federal hate crimes committed during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., the AP reports.

Driving the news: Fields, 22, was charged with both state and federal crimes for deliberately driving his car into a group of peaceful anti-racism protestors at the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally. One woman, Heather Heyer, was killed in the attack and more than 2 dozen others were injured. He still faces sentencing July 15 on the state conviction of first-degree murder.