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MLK Day also observed as Robert E. Lee Day in Mississippi

Capitol building of the State of Mississippi.
Capitol building of the State of Mississippi.(Source: WDAM)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 5:48 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - While many across the country are honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 17, others are also using the day to remember another man of history.

In the state of Mississippi, the third Monday of January is officially recognized as Robert E. Lee’s and Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Currently, only Alabama and Mississippi continue to commemorate King and Lee on the same day. In Florida and Tennessee, the day is observed on Lee’s actual birthday.

King’s actual birthday is Jan. 15 while Lee’s is on the 19th. The federal holiday that honors King does not necessarily fall on his birthday, however. It’s marked on the third Monday in January. It passed Congress and was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

Lee’s birthday has been celebrated as a state holiday by a number of Southern states since the 1880s, but official commemorations are on the decline.

Mississippi has also observed April as Confederate Heritage Month, recognizing the month when the American Civil War began in 1861.

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