Virginia has become the first of the US states formally to apologise for slavery, expressing its "pro-found regret" for its role. It also apologised for exploiting Native Americans.
Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly unanimously voted to pass a measure of apology. Sponsors of the apology said they knew of no other state that had passed such a measure.
"This session will be remembered for a lot of things, but 20 years hence I suspect one of those things will be the fact that we came together and passed this resolution," said Donald Mc-Eachin, a Democrat who sponsored it in the House of Delegates. Mr McEachin, 45, is the great-grandson of a North Carolina slave who moved to Virginia after the Civil War. He added: "What we had was people with a shared history - those who may have been the descendants of slaves, those who may have been descendants of slave owners - they're all here in the General Assembly and we were able to come together for this. …