Google apologizes for notice about Confederate general's birthday, instead of MLK

Google apologizes for notice about Confederate general's birthday, instead of MLK

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If you've Googled a business in Mississippi, Alabama, or Arkansas this week, you may have noticed a warning that "Robert E. Lee's Birthday might affect these hours." Check Google for an office or business in another state and you'll get a similar warning about the Martin Luther King Holiday impacting working hours.

The reason for the differing messages is because these three states are the only ones in the country that celebrate Robert E. Lee Day and Martin Luther King Day on the same holiday. And it appears Google Maps lists state holidays before federal holidays.

The notification has captured the attention of users across the country, with many reaching out to Google through social media.

A Google spokesperson released a statement Monday to several media outlets, including Mashable, explaining that a fix is on the way.

"The holiday hours feature lets people know when a business could be closed or its hours could be different due to a holiday. Unfortunately, in the three states where Robert E Lee's birthday is recognized as well, the feature is not surfacing Martin Luther King Day as it should be. We apologize for any offense this may have caused. Our teams are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible."

Lee's birthday has been a Mississippi state holiday since 1910. When Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday became a federal holiday, the Mississippi State Legislature decided to combine the holidays into one observance.

It's not the only Mississippi holiday related to the Confederacy to coincide with a national holiday. Mississippi also recognizes the last Monday in May as one legal holiday for both Jefferson Davis' birthday and Memorial Day. 

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