Mississippi city renames 'Great Americans Day' to honor MLK

AP News
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Posted: Jan 16, 2017 6:31 PM
Mississippi city renames 'Great Americans Day' to honor MLK

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi city voted Monday to ditch "Great Americans Day" and instead celebrate a holiday named for Martin Luther King Jr.

The Biloxi City Council voted 6-0 Monday to change the name of the holiday in the city code.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2jspo2W ) the vote came moments before the beginning of an annual parade honoring the slain civil rights leader.

Monday was a federal holiday and was recognized in most of the United States as MLK Day. In three states — Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas — the holiday has a dual designation honoring King and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

A Biloxi ordinance adopted in 1985 officially called the holiday "Great American Day," although the name seemed to have been forgotten by many, the newspaper reported.

An uproar erupted on social media after a Biloxi spokesman posted last week that city offices would be closed for Great Americans Day.

City officials quickly changed the name.

Council President Dixie Newman said the Monday meeting was called to "correct a mistake."

The city followed up by posting on social media that, "It's official. Biloxi's MLK Day is MLK Day. Unanimously."