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Lee-Jackson-King Day: Wikis


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Lee-Jackson-King Day was a holiday celebrated in the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1984 to 2000.

Robert E. Lee's birthday (January 19, 1807) has been celebrated as a Virginia holiday since 1889. In 1904, the legislature added the birthday of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (January 21, 1824) to the holiday, and Lee-Jackson Day was born.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan approved an Act of Congress declaring January 15 to be a national holiday in honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Since 1978, Virginia had celebrated King's birthday in conjunction with New Year's Day. To align with the federal holiday, the Virginia legislature simply combined King's celebration with the existing Lee-Jackson holiday.

In 2000, Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore proposed splitting Lee-Jackson-King Day into two separate holidays after debate arose over whether the nature of the holiday which simultaneously celebrated the lives of Confederate generals and a civil rights icon was incongruous. The measure was approved and the two holidays are now celebrated separately as Lee-Jackson Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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