Virginia lawmakers pass bill ending Lee-Jackson holiday

Virginia News

FILE – This June 27, 2017, file photo, shows the Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue that stands in the middle of a traffic circle in Richmond. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have voted to scrap the state’s Lee-Jackson holiday celebrating two Confederate generals and replacing it with one on Election Day. The House on Monday approved legislation that has already cleared the Senate, advancing the measure to Gov. Ralph Northam.

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 were 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.

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