Arkansas tries to strip Gen. Lee from Martin Luther King Day

      (AP) – Every third Monday in January, Arkansas state offices

are closed in observance of an unlikely holiday: the shared birthdays of slain

civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

       Now Arkansas’ Republican governor is reviving an effort to remove Lee from the

holiday. But he faces resistance from opponents who complain the move belittles

the state’s Confederate heritage and from black lawmakers worried about a plan

to set aside another day to honor Lee.

       Arkansas has had a holiday in honor of Lee since 1947 and one for King since

1983. The Legislature voted to combine the two in 1985.

     Three states commemorate both men on the same day. The other two are Alabama

and Mississippi.


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