Va. senate votes to end 'Lee-Jackson Day,' make Election Day a state holiday

Source: The Hill | January 21, 2020 | Zack Budryk

Virginia’s state Senate on Tuesday voted to eliminate the Lee-Jackson Day holiday, commemorating Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and make Election Day a state holiday, according to CBS 6.

The two provisions passed as part of a single bill, SB 601, which passed the Senate 22-18 after being introduced by state Sen. Louise Lucas (D). It will now head to the state’s House of Delegates. Both chambers are majority Democratic.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has said he supports the bill, saying earlier in January, “I don’t think there’s any secret that it’s in honor of two individuals who fought to prolong slavery, which is not a proud aspect of Virginia’s history.”

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The commonwealth has marked the holiday the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day since 2000. From 1984 to 2000, Virginia marked Lee-Jackson-King Day on the same day but split the two holidays amid complaints that the Confederacy should not be celebrated on the same day as a civil rights leader.

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