Georgia will commemorate and close state offices for Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Confederate Memorial Day next year, according to a state holiday calender updated Wednesday.
Georgia is one of five states to observe Lee’s birthday; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and Virginia are the others. Lee’s birthday, January 19, is four days after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, leading some states to commemorate both on the same day. Georgia will observe the days separately, however, commemorating Lee’s birthday in November.
The holidays aren’t necessarily celebrated, or even widely known in the state.
“I wasn’t even aware there was a Robert E. Lee holiday. That’s funny,” Georgia Sen. Emanuel Jones (D) told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2012. “Is it time to move past it? I think we already have. I don’t know of anyone who celebrates Robert E. Lee’s birthday.”
Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ birthday was celebrated in the state until 1984, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes.