Baltimore Just Took Down All of Its Confederate Statues Overnight

“It’s done. They needed to come down,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said.

Jerry Jackson/AP

The city council of Baltimore approved a plan Monday to remove Confederate statues from public spaces. By Wednesday morning, all four of the city’s memorials honoring Confederate leaders were taken down. 

“It’s done,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said early Wednesday. “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could.” 

Several journalists on the scene documented the monuments’ removals:

The swift action comes in the wake of the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, where organizers of the “Unite the Right” rally were objecting to the removal of a Confederate-era statue honoring Robert E. Lee. One woman was killed when a suspected white supremacist drove a car through a crowd of counter-protesters. 

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump again drew fierce condemnation over his now-repeated claim that multiple sides were behind the Charlottesville protests, not just neo-Nazis and white nationalists. He also attacked what he described as the “alt-left” for the violence.

Trump on Tuesday also appeared to criticize the renewed movement to remove Confederate statues, asking at what point would proponents be satisfied in their efforts. “Was George Washington a slave owner?” he asked in a chaotic press conference Tuesday. “Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? What about Thomas Jefferson?”

As the president equivocated over hate groups and where to place the blame for Charlottesville, cities across the country have ramped up the process to remove Confederate monuments and flags from its public spaces.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.