Every state in the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday today, but in just a few states, this coincides with an entirely different holiday – on the same day – honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s birthday.
The Clarion-Ledger reported over the weekend:
Mississippians will celebrate a civil rights leader and a Confederate general on Monday.Mississippi is one of three states – along with Arkansas and Alabama – that celebrate Robert E. Lee Day and Martin Luther King Day on the same holiday. Lee was a commander in the Confederate army of Northern Virginia in the Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865.
If you’re thinking these two holidays don’t go together well, you’re not alone.
In fact, one of the three states has at least considered making a change. Last year, Arkansas’ state legislature took up a proposal to separate the days, but it died in committee.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) continues to support a new state holiday calendar, telling reporters earlier this month, “I would like to see his special day, his Martin Luther King Day, be a separate day to himself and to the recognition of his role in the civil rights movement in our country. It’s important that that day be distinguished and separate and focused on that civil rights struggle and what he personally did in that effort, the great leader he was during that cause. They need to be distinguished and separate.”
State officials, however, are still no closer to making the change.
For more on this, take a look at the segment Rachel aired one year ago tomorrow.