AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

State offices closed for no-name holiday formerly known as Robert E. Lee Day

Don't tell anyone, but today is a state holiday known for decades as Robert E. Lee Day. Since 1889, Georgia has had a holiday to honor the birth of the Confederate general. But as the AJC first reported in August, amid the controversy over Confederate symbols following the Charleston shooting, the name of the holiday was struck from official state calendars for 2016 and replaced with the generic name "state holiday."

Same thing happened with a second Georgia state holiday, Confederate Memorial Day, marked on April 27 this year.

But state offices will still be closed for the no-name holiday. And as a spokesman for Gov. Deal pointed out, the day still can be observed in commemoration of Confederate history for those so inclined, with state offices and the Capitol closed. More likely, it will be marked by state employees crowding shopping centers.

BTW, with the Capitol closed today, so is the state's largest collection of symbols honoring the Confederacy: statues and paintings housed there.

The nation did mark a holiday this year that fell on Lee's actual birthday, Jan. 19. That was Martin Luther King Jr. Day.










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About the Author

Lois Norder is Senior Editor for Investigations in the newsroom at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.