Robert E. Lee Day

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Robert E. Lee Day
Robert Edward Lee - elder years.jpg
Also calledLee's Birthday
Observed by
TypeState holiday
SignificanceConfederate General in Chief's birthday
DateThird Monday in January
2020 dateJanuary 20  (2020-01-20)
2021 dateJanuary 18  (2021-01-18)
2022 dateJanuary 17  (2022-01-17)
2023 dateJanuary 16  (2023-01-16)
Related to

Robert E. Lee Day is a state holiday in parts of the southern US commemorating the Confederate general Robert E. Lee.[1]

It has been celebrated it on Lee's Birthday (January 19) in Tennessee,[2][3] Florida (where by and large it is not observed[4]) and in Texas as Confederate Heros Day.

Alabama[5] and Mississippi[6][7]observe it on the third Monday in January, the federal holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Arkansas combined the observance of Robert E. Lee Day with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 1985, after two years of requiring state employees to select between the two holidays or their own birthday as a day off from work.[8] In 2017, it passed a law removing General Lee's name from the January holiday and instead establishing a state memorial day on the second Saturday of October in honor of Lee.[9] In 2000 Virginia experimented with splitting Lee–Jackson–King Day into a separate Lee–Jackson Day on the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, dropping the latter in 2020. Georgia formerly called the Friday after Thanksgiving Robert E. Lee Day; now it is only an unnamed paid holiday.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Berkow, Ira (November 10, 1990). "Sports of the Times: Dr. King and the Super Bowl". New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  2. ^ "Tennessee Gubernatorial Proclamation of January 3, 2013" (PDF).
  3. ^ Allison, Natalie (July 12, 2019). "Gov. Bill Lee Signs Nathan Bedford Forrest Day Proclamation, Is Not Considering Law Change." The Tennessean ( Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  4. ^ Mettler, Katie (January 19, 2016). "Today in Florida, it's Robert E. Lee Day". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved January 16, 2017. Government offices do not close down. Children are still in class. Not even the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Tampa do anything special on Jan. 19.
  5. ^ Little, Becky (January 13, 2017). "The Controversial History of Martin Luther King Day". National Geographic. Retrieved January 16, 2017. Three states celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King and Civil War General Robert E. Lee on the same day.
  6. ^ Holpuch, Amanda (January 14, 2017). Written at New York. "Mississippi city faces backlash after calling MLK Day 'Great Americans Day'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved January 16, 2017. The incident, however, highlighted an awkward truth about Mississippi’s Martin Luther King Jr Day: that it is also Robert E Lee Day.
  7. ^ "Robert E Lee's Birthday in the United States". Time and Date AS. n.d. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "Arkansas Ends Robert E. Lee-Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday". NBC News. March 22, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  9. ^ Associated Press (March 17, 2017). "Arkansas lawmakers vote to remove Robert E. Lee from holiday honoring MLK". Politico. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  10. ^ Bluestein, Greg (November 24, 2017). "Why today is no longer Robert E. Lee day in Georgia". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved August 22, 2018.

Further reading[edit]