The Florida Senate voted unanimously this week to replace a statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith with a statue honoring activist and prominent black educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S Capitol, the LA Times reports.

Democratic Florida Senator Perry Thurston, who sponsored the bill, said the move would recognize Florida's "rich history." 

"Dr. Bethune's life and values represent the best of Florida," Thurston said according to the L.A Times. "Voting for this legislation underscores that Floridians recognize our rich history and celebrate our diversity."

Two years ago, the Florida legislature voted to remove the statue of Smith, over the objections of some members, the Associated Press reports.

However, after an amendment was added to the Bethune bill that would allow Smith's likeness to be put on public display in Florida, Republican Senator Dennis Baxley (who is a defender of Confederate monuments – and who initially opposed the bill) joined in the unanimous vote for a Bethune statute in the Capitol. 

Bethune, who died in 1955, founded a school in 1904, which later became known as Bethune-Cookman College, a private historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The school celebrated the news on Twitter:

Bethune served as the institution's president, and later founded the National Council of Negro Women in New York. Bethune would later become an adviser to  President Franklin Roosevelt's administration.