Long Beach State to retire ‘Prospector Pete’ statue
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — California State University, Long Beach, will be ousting its “Prospector Pete” statue because of the impact the 1849 gold rush had on indigenous people.
A statement on the university website says the gold rush was “a time in history when the indigenous peoples of California endured subjugation, violence and threats of genocide.”
According to the university, the bronze statue formally named “The Forty-Niner Man” evolved from the creation of the original college in 1949 and founding President Pete Peterson’s references to having “struck the gold of education.”
In recent years, university athletics have moved away from the “49er” and “Prospector Pete” names in favor of the nickname “Beach.”
The university says the statue currently located on a plaza will be retired to an area of campus dedicated to alumni.