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
2022 dateJanuary 17  (2022-01-17)
2023 dateJanuary 16  (2023-01-16)
2024 dateJanuary 15  (2024-01-15)
2025 dateJanuary 20  (2025-01-20)
Related to

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

January 19 was marked by the governor of Tennessee as Robert E. Lee Day in 2013.[2][3]

Texas made "Lee Day" a holiday in 1931.[4] In 1973, "Lee Day" was renamed Confederate Heroes Day.[5]

Florida Statute 683.01(d) marks January 19 as Robert E. Lee Day, although no offices or schools close down for it.[6]

Alabama[7] and Mississippi[8][9] observe it on the third Monday in January, in order to split the date with the federal holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] 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 former in 2020. Georgia formerly called the Friday after Thanksgiving Robert E. Lee Day; now it is only an unnamed paid holiday.[13]

See also


  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. ^ "TEXAS CONFEDERATE HEROES DAY AND CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY" (PDF). Texas Division United Daughters of the Confederacy. "House Bill 126, 42nd Legislature Regular Session. Chapter 8. Approved and Effective January 30, 1931 as Robert E. Lee's Birthday.; Senate Bill 60, 63rd Legislature Regular Session. Chapter 221. Approved June 1, 1973 and Effective August 27, 1973 as Confederate Heroes Day. This bill deleted June 3rd as a holiday for Jefferson Davis' birthday and combined the two into Confederate Heroes Day."
  5. ^ Rodriguez, Jakob; Gray, Japhanie (January 19, 2021). "What is Confederate Heroes Day and why do Texans still celebrate it today?". KSAT - Omne - Graham Media Group. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  6. ^ Company, Tampa Publishing (January 19, 2016). "Today in Florida, it's Robert E. Lee Day". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  7. ^ Little, Becky (January 13, 2017). "The Controversial History of Martin Luther King Day". National Geographic. Retrieved November 16, 2022. Three states celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King and Civil War General Robert E. Lee on the same day.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Mississippi State Holidays". Mississippi Secretary of State. January 17, 2023. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  10. ^ "Governor: Right to split King, Lee day". Magnolia Banner News. January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  11. ^ "Arkansas Ends Robert E. Lee-Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday". NBC News. Associated Press. March 22, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  12. ^ Associated Press (March 17, 2017). "Arkansas lawmakers vote to remove Robert E. Lee from holiday honoring MLK". Politico. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  13. ^ Bluestein, Greg (November 24, 2017). "Why today is no longer Robert E. Lee day in Georgia". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on August 23, 2018.

Further reading