Arkansas marks first MLK holiday since state removed Lee

January 15, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansans are commemorating the state’s first Martin Luther King Jr. holiday since the governor signed a law that eliminated the honoring of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.

Last March, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed legislation removing Lee from the state holiday that honors King on the third Monday in January.

Arkansas has had a holiday in honor of Lee since 1947, and one for King since 1983. Both Lee and King were born in January.

The Civil War general will instead will be honored with a memorial day, not a state holiday, on the second Saturday in October that will be marked with a gubernatorial proclamation.

Hutchinson said Monday that he was proud to commemorate the legacy of the slain civil rights leader “on his own day.”

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