Monday, January 16, 2006


My company does not "observe" Martin Luther King Day which means I am in the office today. Not that I'm bitching since I get a lot of paid time off anyway and I don't think it's any kind of slight since we also don't have the day off for President's Day, Veteran's Day, Columbus Day, and so on.

In Virginia MLK Day has a colorful (come on, you know there's no pun intended) history since for the longest time it used to be Lee-Jackson-King Day. Yes, as in Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson. I guess the state legislature had a difficult time reconciling its Confederate history but I am told that Lee-Jackson Day began in the state shortly after the Civil War. Prior to MLK being declared a federal holiday (on the same day as that of Lee-Jackson in the Old Dominion) in the 80's, Virginia observed the Reverend's birthday on New Year's Day. The state legislature decided to get in line with the federal holiday calendar but didn't want to dispense with Lee-Jackson Day so for several years we were treatd to an ironically incongrous holiday known as Lee-Jackson-King Day in which we celebrated the birthdays of one Civil Rights leader and two Confederate generals. Wacky stuff.

But anyway the ship was righted and now Dr. King has a holiday all to himself in Virginia just like the rest of the nation (except Arizona?). Enjoy your holiday.


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