Virginia Will Eliminate State Holiday Honoring Robert E. Lee

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Virginia Will Eliminate State Holiday Honoring Robert E. Lee,

A tradition of over 100 years is about to come to an end.

According to CNN, this week, the Virginia House voted to strike Lee-Jackson Day from the list of state holidays. The holiday, observed on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January, honors Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as “defenders of causes.”

Slate reports the Virginia House of Delegates voted on Thursday to approve a bill that would eliminate Lee-Jackson Day and replace it with an Election Day holiday. It is now almost guaranteed to be signed into law.

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The bill, which came soon after Democrats took majority control of the House, marks a major blow against supporters of Confederate memorialization, who were already losing ground in the debate over monuments in public spaces.

In recent years, cities such as Charlottesville and Richmond have elected to ignore the state celebration. And Gov. Ralph Northam, in part to atone for the blackface scandal that nearly forced him out of office last year, has vocally committed to fighting against symbols of racism with the rest of his term.

Already he and the legislature have set their sights on a number of bills that would shift funding away from honoring Confederate figures and toward recognizing black activists and heroes in the state’s history.

Lee-Jackson Day, honoring the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, has been celebrated in Virginia for more than 100 years.

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Virginia Will Eliminate State Holiday Honoring Robert E. Lee

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