Workers in New Orleans, under police guard, began Monday removing four monuments dedicated to the era of the Confederacy and its aftermath.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement that during the first removal process which began just before dawn on Monday, crews dismantled a monument erected in 1891 to honor members of the Crescent City White League, who in 1874, fought in the Reconstruction-era Battle of Liberty Place against the racially integrated New Orleans police and state militia.
The monument, which local leaders unsuccessfully tried to remove it in 1981 and 1993, has been occasionally used as a rallying point by David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.
Other monuments slated for removal include a bronze statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in a traffic circle named for Lee, an equestrian statue of P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate general, and a statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.