Michigan city dropping Robert E Lee name from showboat

Posted at 7:34 AM, Aug 18, 2017

A western Michigan city is stripping the name Robert E. Lee from its new showboat.

Lowell City Manager Mike Burns said in a statement Thursday a committee this year has been considering new names for the boat, which it expects to begin building next year. He says officials in the city 16 miles (25 kilometers) east of Grand Rapids "recognize that the name is offensive to many."

The boat named for the Confederate Civil War general was closed in January due to safety concerns, and the city received a state grant to build a new showboat.

The Robert E. Lee was built in 1935 to resemble riverboat steamers that traveled the Mississippi River. It was rebuilt in 1979 after a storm damaged the first one.