8 Crazy Quotes In Support of Celebrating Robert E. Lee on MLK Day

AP/Kaia Larsen

Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama are the only three states in the country that celebrate Robert E. Lee on the same day as the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. Their reasoning for the combo celebration is that the two have birthdays just a few days apart—never mind the, uh, conflict of interest.

Today, Arkansas’ elected officials had the opportunity to pass a bill seeking to separate the two commemorations. By doing so, Arkansas would join Georgia, Florida, and Virginia, which honor Lee—but not on MLK Day.

But this morning, Arkansas representatives struck down the bill with a chorus of nays. Below are a few choice quotes from opponents of the bill explaining why:

1. “Everyone in this room owes Robert E. Lee a debt.”

2. “You’ve got MLK parades all over the nation, but no one celebrates Lee! Well, a lot of people do, a very large crowd.”

3. “This bill is out to change our constitution.”

4. “It’s called American history.”

5. “I really wish we could all celebrate a non-separate, but equal holiday.”

6. “You wouldn’t celebrate Christmas in July!”

7. “Why are we doing this? We are chasing a non-problem.”

8. “Separate is not equal.” 


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.