AP NEWS

Legislation to scrap Lee-Jackson holiday advances

February 7, 2020 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia House has advanced legislation to scrap the state’s Lee-Jackson holiday celebrating two Confederate generals.

The Democratic-led House voted Thursday to pass legislation that would make Election Day a state holiday instead of Lee-Jackson Day.

The Senate has already passed its version of the legislation. Both chambers must sign off on legislation before it goes to the governor for approval.

Lee-Jackson Day, established over 100 years ago, is observed annually on the Friday preceding the third Monday in January. It honors Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, both native Virginians.

Critics of the Lee-Jackson holiday view it as a celebration of the state’s slave-holding history that’s offensive to African Americans. Many cities and counties have opted not to observe it.