Three states celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King and Civil War General Robert E. Lee on the same day. Here’s why.

For most people in the United States, Monday, January 16, is a holiday known as Martin Luther King Day (often abbreviated MLK Day). But if you happen to live in Arkansas, Alabama, or Mississippi, then it’s Martin Luther King Day and Robert E. Lee Day.

This might come as a surprise to people familiar with these iconic men. King was a famous leader of the civil rights movement. Lee was a Civil War general for the Confederacy, a group of states that seceded from the United States to form a government in which, as Article IV of its constitution stated, “the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected.”

To understand why these men are honored on the same day in three states, one needs to look back at the controversial history of the MLK holiday. ( – Becky Little) Click here to get the full story.

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