Taking Heat: Biloxi under fire for combining MLK Day and Robert E. Lee Birthday

Robert E. Lee, Martin Luther King. (Wikipedia)
Robert E. Lee, Martin Luther King. (Wikipedia)

Great Americans Day to combine both observances…

Nary an eyebrow raised nor chin scratched when the city of Bloomington, Indiana recently re-named the federal and state recognized official holiday of Good Friday to “Spring Holiday.”

Not a whole lot of outrage when the same city dumped Columbus Day for the more politically correct “Fall Holiday.”

Nonetheless, the Gulf Coast city of Biloxi is smack dab in the middle of a veritable Twitter storm after combining the federal/state legal holiday of Martin Luther King Day  with the municipal legal holiday of Robert E. Lee’s Birthday.

As cited on the Mississippi state government website, “Mississippi celebrates Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday on the third Monday in June, but some municipalities celebrate that holiday as Robert E. Lee’s birthday.”

That’s where the Biloxi government got into hot water. As reported by Britain’s The Daily Mail;

A city in Mississippi became the subject of widespread scorn on social media Friday after its municipality declared that Martin Luther King Day would be recognized there as ‘Great Americans Day’.

Biloxi, a resort town that lies on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, invited harsh criticism from Twitter users on Friday after it announced that its municipal offices would be closed this coming Monday in observance of ‘Great Americans Day’.

The third Monday of January is a federal holiday established to honor the memory of King, the slain 1960s civil rights leader.

Biloxi’s post ignited a fierce backlash from critics who accused the predominantly white town of denigrating King.

Mississippi’s official listing of state observances for 2017 include “Confederate Memorial day on the last Monday in April. The state also combines National Memorial Day with Jefferson Davis’ birthday on the last Monday in May.”

Virginia also commemorates the lives of Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as Lee-Jackson Day on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day.

Other than Mississippi, the states of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas also observe Confederate Memorial Day (named Confederates Heroes Day in Texas).